Thursday, April 23, 2009


Spring Break (SB) came in with a bang and left the same way. We had a great SB this year spending time together as a family and making those ever precious memories!

This year Brett and I decided to surprise the kids. When we first started discussing what we should do for SB we found some great deals on Salt Lake City Passes that would get us into a ton of stuff and we'd stay in a hotel in Salt Lake and have a great time. The kids were actually really excited to be able to do this.

A few days later as Brett and I were putting the finishing touches on our vacation and just before we purchased the City Pass tickets, we played with the idea of going to Disneyland instead. We found a family through who were going to DL a few days before us and we shared 6, 6-day hopper passes with them. They used the first three days and we used the last three days. It cut our costs in half! It worked out GREAT! So after figuring this out we decided it would be really fun, and that we would surprise the kids, so Disneyland it was.

Time came for SB and we headed down to Orem to spend a night with Grandparents. Our kids couldn't figure out why we wanted to drive to Orem if we just had to turn back around the next day to go to Salt Lake, but they didn't care too much since they weren't in school. It was all in the journey, right?

After a night at grandma's, we headed off to Vegas. The only one of the kids who knew where we were going was Cassidey. That was because Brett couldn't keep it a secret and had to blab it to one of the kids. He said it was because he was using it as a bargaining tool to get Cass to raise some of her grades. Yeah, right! :)

Once we got to around Nephi, the kids started asking the ever famous question, "How much longer?" We kept telling them, "20-minutes!" We did that all the way to Cedar City. Seriously, I mean at what age do kids develop a concept of time? When we stopped in Cedar City for gas, I had made some puzzles for the kids to fill out, a Dot-to-Dot with a word puzzle, and also a crossword puzzle. This was going to tell them where we were actually going.

All the kids helped in figuring out the puzzle and when they were done, they looked at us with blank stares and just said, "Ok, we're done, not what?" This is where I'm thinking our kids need to be put in a Disneyland Resource Class or something. I mean one puzzle said, "Come and play! I can't wait to see you!" and the crossword puzzle had all kinds of Disney words as the answer, including the word, Disneyland, which Stoney wasn't able to figure out, and the it said below the puzzle, "Come and play!" and the STILL DIDN'T GET IT! We had to literally spell it out for them that we were going to Disneyland instead of Salt Lake. Once we finally told them, and it registered in their brains, they were really excited.

We stopped one night in Las Vegas, but the kids weren't too impressed with it. I thought they would oooooh & awwwwww over the lights and stuff, but not so much. They wanted to get to California.

We arrived in California around 2 pm and checked into our hotel (The Candy Cane Inn) which was absolutely FABULOUS! I highly recomment this hotel. We decided to unwind for a bit, especially since we had to wait for the family we were sharing the tickets with to show up at our hotel, so the kids went swimming. We finally got the tickets around 4 pm, decided to eat dinner before we went to DL, and then we headed off to DL around 7 pm.

We were shocked at how crowded it was, but once we got our bearing and grew accustomed to the crowds we navigated around really well. We didn't really do any of the fast pass tickets, instead we went to the really popular rides while the parades & fireworks were going off. Because of this we were able to walk-on to most of the really big rides we wanted to do, like Splash Mountain, Materhorn, Pirates of the Carribean, Haunted Mansion, etc. Of course there were some rides that it just took forever, and some our kids were willing to wait in line, while others, they didn't want to waste the time.

One of the rides the were willing to wait for was Tower of Terror! It is one of the most AWESOMEST rides I've ever ridden on! The kids loved it and wanted to do it again, but by the time we came out the ride had doubled in length so we decided to forego it. Brody didn't enjoy it too much. Throughout the ride his eyes were as big as saucers and his mouth was open wide! I think he thought he was screaming, but no sound was coming out of his mouth. Poor kid! I think we scared the scream right out of him.

The favorite ride the kids liked and wanted to do over and over again was Splash Mountain. They loved it! Me, well, I don't remember it going to fast or being so bumpy inside, but the plunge down the mountain is always a good time.

The day we spent in California Adventures was a fun time. The weather was pretty cold for California weather, but we all decided we would rather have it that way than scorching hot. The first ride the kids wanted to go on was Grizzley Rapids, you know the one where you all sit on a giant innertube boat and you race through water water rapids. Yeah, well, we were all wearing sweatshirts, and mine was really big. I told all the kids to take their jackets off and I stuffed them inside mine. I then put it in the middle of the boat. Normally their is a sealed canister-thing, but not this time, it was open, but I didn't think it would be a big deal. Boy was I wrong! Half-way through the ride, a HUGE WAVE came over the top of me, soaking me and landing on top of my sweatshirt. Good times! Thank goodness it didn't soak through the jacket onto the other jackets inside. The best part of it all was that I was wear a WHITE T-SHIRT! Well, I was feeling pretty dang sexy, and I'm surprised DL security didn't escort me out stating that this was a family environment. But we did have a good time, even though I really the only one who got wet, which it took me almost the entire day to dry off. Lucky me!

The kids had just as much fun swimming in the swimming pool at the hotel as the did at DL. Every morning they wanted to swim until at least 11 am so we never got to DL until at least 2 pm! Who's kids are these anyway?

When it came time for us to head out, we were going to stop in Las Vegas and spend the night again, but the kids just wanted to get home, so we loaded everything up and headed out for the 12 1/2 long out drive, which actually I thought we made it really good time.

Spring Break was a great time this year. We made some great memories, did some fun things, and most importantly, we spent time together. Look below at some of our SB pictures and see for yourself.


Our completed Dot-to-Dot puzzle & Word Puzzle we had the kids do to help them figure out where we were going for Spring Break. Just like the crossword puzzle, they didn't get it. Ummmm, I'm thinking our kids might need to be put in a Disneyland Resource class.

Cassidey isn't "BUGGED" at all that we're going to see Bug's Life 3-D!

Gunner had to grow his hair LONG specifically for the reason of being able to whip his hair around as he comes out of the water. Not sure what that's all about but I think he might need a couple more inches for it to gave him the effect he's thinking of.

Hear ye! Hear ye! The King and Queen of Sin City, otherwise known as Las Vegas, have something important to say. (I think Gunner is still trying to think what exactly that is.)

Don't worry Brod, I won't let you drownn cuz I'm my brother's keeper.

Brody got a hair cut a few days before we left on our trip. He was so excited because he was looking like a furry monster. I was pretty proud of myself cuz his hair is hard to cut especially if I cut it too short. I've spent a lot of time growing his hair out to prove to Brett that I know his hair can lay flat if it's long enough, so there you go, totally FLAT hair. Yeah for me! Isn't he a handsome boy!

A closer look at Brody's first LOST TOOTH!

Another view to show that Brody's hair is in fact laying down EVERYWHERE! Even in the back.

A few days before we left on our trip Brody lost his first tooth! He was so excited and so were we cuz he had been working on the thing for over a month and asking EVERYDAY if his tooth was ready to come out. He even got $1 from the Tooth Fairy. Woo! Hoo!

These are the across questions from our surprise Disneyland trip Crossword Puzzle.

The down questions from our surprise Disneyland trip Crossword Puzzle. After answering all the questions except for #7 down, he couldn't figure out what it was, or what it was talking about. Seriously?!

Ever since Brody lost his tooth, he thinks he needs to pull his chin down and say cheese when we take his picture cuz he wants us to make sure we see his missing tooth.

Two of Peity's favorite things...... Water and posing for pictures. What can I say, she's a beauty queen!

Even in a pool Peity is able to find something to climb. She's our little monkey!

This was the "whipped hair effect" after Gunner whipped it out of the water. He was thinking he was pretty dang cool. Oh, and hopefully Brody's not drowning in the background.

Of course you can't do Disneyland without a picture in front of Cinderella's Castle. If you l00k closely you will notice the kids are not too excited for the photo shoot! What's up with that?

California's great but "I'm fa-fa-fa-FREEZING!"

Havin' fun in the California sun!

Again, who would have thought we had to go all the way to Cali do figure out how to do water ab cunches?

Gunner's feeling a little "ANTSY" to see Bug's Life 3-D!

How heavy is this stupid weight anyway? SHEEZ!

A family who Hot Tubs together stays together (at least stays warm together). Four of my six most greatest blessings!

Stoney found a way to keep cool while doing ab crunches!

Tower of Terror! The most AWESOMEST ride EVER! (Brody didn't think so, but he tried to be brave)

My two Pool Princesses!

Radiator Springs... A Happy Place! Especially for the Harward Gang!

Peity finds rest and relaxation in the curve of the "C" in California.

Brody....... Our little HUN WARRIOR! Luckily he's not quite as fierce as Atilla.

A national icon - the Disneyland Teacups! One of my favorites - seriously! Brett was off puking somewhere. Oh the things we do to make our kids happy!

I think Stoney looks a little "GOOFY" in his hat!

Gunny & Peity in Toon Town

Brett finally earned his ears! A proud moment in the Harward Home!

Let me show you how I use my MUSK-ELZ to lift this most heavy weight!

I am the luckiest woman in the world! I have my very own Chip-N-Dale! SA-WEET!

Who knew Mickey was actually a Rastafarian?

Peity's wondering, "Where's the fire?" While Brody's thinking, "When's it gonna be my turn to drive!"

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Feeling Truly Blessed Today!

I have been following the newsposts the past few days concerning actress, Natasha Richardson and the skiing accident she was involved in. At the beginning, when the media listed her in critical condition I wasn't sure how bad her injuries were, since sometimes the media tends to blow things out of proportion. However, her condition was truly critical as I learned this morning from news articles stating that she had passed away last night from a tramatic head injury. All-of-a-sudden this scene hit home like a brick. Thoughts of an accident 18-months ago came reeling through my mind, and I felt truly blessed to have been given a different out-come.

It has now been 18-months since the infamous Dodgeball game in Longmont, CO, where I basically ended up tripping over my feet, falling backwards, and hittting the back of my head on our church gym floor. Just like Ms. Richardson, I too thought I was o.k., saying, "I just had my bell rung a bit, that all, I'll be fine." But again like Ms. Richardson, things changed, my health declined and I had the headache of my life. After tests were ran it was discovered that I had a golf ball sized bleed in the front part of my brain. To make a long story short, I ended up having a 10-day ICU stay in the hospital, where part of that time was spent fight to keep me alive.

I have thanked my Heavenly Father many times over the months, forever grateful that my life was sparred and I was able to continue here on earth being a wife & mother to my family. And although I still have lingering issues, and some things that may never get better, I know the outcome could have been entirely different.

When freak accidents like this occur it really makes you stop and think about what is important and how truly blessed we are, because in the blink of an eye everything can change. I am so grateful to have been given the chance to stay with my family; To have family and friends who stood by to give love, aid and support to Brett & my family during my stay in the hospital; To be blessed to have recovered so well, and knowing that I continue to be blessed everyday; Thanks to so many who continue to give love and support in the aftermath of that difficult time.

Even though I don't personally know Natasha Richardson, my thoughts and prayers go out to their family during this difficult time. She seemed like a wonderful woman, someone who seemed was successful at juggling life with her husband of 14-years, her children, her infamous family & the spotlight. Again, I am eternally blessed and thankful to all of you, and especially to my Heavenly Father.

My Baby Turns "5"!

You know I'm a slacker and have been put on the "Crappiest Mom's in America" List when I wait 17-days to BLOG about my youngest child as he heads into a new phase of his life, or has pictures to mark this momentous occasssion 'cuz the camera is broken! All is not lost though, I will be adding updated pictures soon! YEAH!
Brody Jugant Harward celebrated his grand old number "5th Birthday" on Sunday, March 1. He has been waiting for this day for 365 days - and I am not kidding about that. Brody has asked how many days 'til his birthday comes ever since his 4th birthday. It was almost anit-climantic when his birthday finally did arrive because I think he thought something miraculous was going to happen, but, well, if you refer to my first paragraph you'll understand why.

This has been a HUGE year of new things for Brody. It's amazing to think that he has been a part of our family for 2 1/2 years. It's wierd to think that he has been with our family now just as long as he lived in the orphanage. Although things started out rough, I can't imagine our family unit without his pokey hair, his crooked smile, his moon-shaped eyes that disapper when he smiles, his love of sleeping, or his never ending appetite - eating anything (except tomatoes) & everything!
Here is what Brody has accomplished in one year (from age 4 - 5):
1. He can pedal his big wheel by himself!
2. He can hop on one leg over 25 times! (6-months ago he couldn't even stand on one leg!)
3. He can make his bed & clean his room by himself!
4. He can fold his own clothes!
5. He can brush his own teeth!
6. He can wipe his own bum! (and do a dang good job at it may I say - no skid marks!)
7. He can run down a hill without falling!
8. He can run up the stairs - alternating his feet! THIS IS HUGE!
9. He can almost go down the stairs - alternating his feet! AGAIN.... HUGE!
10.He can SPELL his name!
11.He can WRITE his name!
12.He is able to communicate better when he's frustrated, rather than throwing fits!
13.He can catch a football (at least half the time) when it's thrown to him!
14.He can tackle his older brother, Stoney (a feat not many can do!)
15.He can cross the street by himself (watching for cars) and not be terrified to do it!
16.He has 2 best friends & they are unseperable from breakfast to bedtime!
17.Has passed up his older sister (by 2 1/2 years), Peity, in heigth! (not a big shocker)
18.Learned all his colors this year at preschool & can't wait for Kindergarten next year!
19.His coordination has become almost perfect (not - as you can see in the video. :))
Brody continues to progress, move forward, and amaze us everyday! He has such a cute, loving personality & loves to be happy. In primary this past Sunday, right in the middle of sharing time Brody stood up and proudly announced:
"I am Chinese! And I love to eat!"
In a nutshell, this phrase partly sums up who he is. We have been trying to teach him about where he came from, and who he is, so that he can be proud of his heritage. He is a joy to our family and we will be forever blessed and grateful that our Heavenly Father led us to him.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Brojangles!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


-K-, so keeping up on the going on's of my life is definately not my strong suit. I think I need to come to some agreement as to updating & posting on my blog (that's such a gross sounding word - who thought of it anyway?) For some reason, whenever I get on the computer, my mind goes to mush and the next thing I know, I need to pick my kids up from school. Crazy, I know, but it's true. So I try to ignore the computer as much as I can. But, that doesn't do me any good when I'm trying to teach my kids about the importance of journaling. It's kind-of like "do as I say, not as I do."

When I was in high school, I was really good about journaling. But something happens when you become a parent. I'm not quite sure what that is exactly but something definately does happen. If I figure it out, I'll tell you.

So right now, I'm trying to committ myself to updating my posts at the beginning of every month. That's no so overwhelming, nor will I not feel guilty if I don't post every day. Then, if I want to add a post within the month, I'll feel like I'm going above & beyond the call of duty and I'll feel like a super mom. How awesome is that. See, it's all about tricking yourself, something I do quite often.

New pictures will be coming soon. My sister-in-law took some great family pictures a couple weeks ago, so I'm patiently waiting for her to send me the CD of all of them. Yeah!

Here's to monthly (maybe more) postings.