Heather Bird Photography bio picture

New chores

Times are a’changin around here and we’re all liking it, actually.  Even Ricky!   Two days ago I asked Ricky to empty the dishwasher.   When he was done he said, “I like that chore, that should be my chore all of the time.”  Ummm.  Done and Done.  Then yesterday we had Ricky mow for the first time ever.   He wasn’t so sure of himself at first, but loved it too.   It’s bittersweet that he’s growing up but he’s becoming quite the young man.   Love this kiddo.




Made from scratch!

When we moved into our house there were two tiny trees planted right next to our front windows.   For years these trees have grown and are now almost as tall as our house.   But it wasn’t until a couple of years ago we realized that these were cherry trees, and not until the end of last season that we realized that we could eat the cherries.   This year Ricky and I picked as many as we could reach, one because the birds were making a complete mess of them and consequently of our sidewalk below but two, because I got motivated to actually make something with them.


I’m not a big cook, and I sure am not a “make it from scratch” type of cook.    But I’m proud to say that I made an entire cherry cobbler from scratch.   Cherries from our trees, ingredients from my kitchen … I didn’t have to run to the store for anything, which is a miracle in itself.



Benny helped me bake.CR5A5617

And voila!  It turned out great!

However, I’m the only one that can vouch for it.   None of my picky boys wanted to try any and Ken wasn’t so sure about the cherries actually being edible so I don’t think he actually ate any either (even though he claims to have!)   Oh well, it was fun to prove that I could make something from scratch and Ricky and Benny loved helping out.


Benny – All Star Baseball

Benny just finished his first Allstar baseball tournament. He absolutely loves to play and is really learning a lot about the game. It’s no surprise that he always know the score and remembers various stats about his games.

One of my favorite memories about this tournament didn’t happen at a game, but the morning after. I couldn’t be at their first game where they received their uniforms. I had gotten home late the night of the game and he was already sound asleep. I woke up bright and early the next morning with Benny standing next to my bed proudly showing me his jersey. He then recapped the entire game for me; who was on each base, who made key outs including his own catch of a pop-fly for one out and running the ball in from the outfield to get a runner out.

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Another favorite moment came with watching the excitement on his face during the championship game when he ran off the field during the second to last inning knowing that they had sealed the championship by holding their opponent to just a couple runs that inning. I was lucky enough to capture his huge smile.

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His team won the championship game and Benny was, of course, thrilled with his trophy!

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This next image is my new favorite because I love that is so telling of him and his age.   His baseball backpack that is too big and a little too heavy for his skinny frame slipping off his shoulder.  It has his name embroidered and makes him feel like the ‘real deal’, so he loves it.  His freckles becoming more prominent. That permanent tooth way bigger than the rest, right next to the hole that held the most recent lost baby tooth.  His longer hair peaking out from under his cap.  He’s becoming more opinionated of his style and intent on having long hair.  And his proud grin after a big win.  If I could go back in time, I’m pretty sure this is what his daddy looked like at almost 7.

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The quest for the biggest and best trophy has started here in a house full of competitive boys.  My boys may all have different interests but thankfully, each of their activities has presented an opportunity for a trophy.   Last night Benny was asking Ken about his trophies and where they were and which was the biggest and a multitude of other questions.   Ken got out a box of keepsakes that included his first ever trophy… fittingly a baseball trophy.   Benny loved looking through all of his sports memorabilia and I loved watching and listening to these two sport lovers.


One more baseball tournament for Benny, and then soccer will be in full-force for Ricky.



Cathy Mack - So glad you are back to blogging! Makes me feel like I know what is happening so far away with family!

DeEtta Bird - Congratulations Benny,
I can see you are good at running bases! I am wondering about the picture with the lump in your cheek. Is that gum or your tongue. If it’s your tongue, you might be sorry!!!! I’m going to look for some of your dads sport pictures. If I find any, I’ll send them to you. Grandma DeDe

Evening Kayaking Trip

We’ve had one busy week and probably should have stayed home and vegged on the couch, but I kind of had a little panic attack on Thursday when I realized it was almost the 4th of July!   Summer is flying by and I feel like we have limited time to do all kinds of summer fun.  So when my friend, Suzie, suggested we meet them up at their campground where they were staying all week to kayak, I packed the kids in the car at 5 pm or so and headed to a lake over an hour away.   I debated most of the way there, since it always takes me longer than I expect to load everything and especially after getting stuck in traffic,  if I should be heading up so late in the day, but didn’t regret it for a moment once we got there.   The end of the day meant we had most of the lake to ourselves and the setting sun was beautiful to watch from a kayak.  Turns out vegging out on a kayak and around a campfire is much better than on the couch!    Some of the pictures from our fun evening:

Rainbow kayaks



We live in a pretty amazing place!CR5A5469


After kayaking, we hung out til it got dark for some s’mores and then headed home with 3 tired boys!


Life is too short for veggin’ on the couch 😉

Thanks, Suzie, Chris and girls for a great night!




Today, is my mother in law’s birthday.    I love her dearly for many reasons… reasons like the son she raised that I am so lucky to have, her thoughtful and caring ways, the way she loves my boys.   But I also admire her for many other reasons, reasons like her desire to continue to educate herself and always learn something new whether it be through reading or taking classes.   Reasons like the genuine interest she shows in others hobbies or things they are interested in.  It’s not unlike her to read up on a photography related article and send it my way.

I also greatly admire the effort that she puts in to making memories for her family.    She’s not one to sit on the sidelines and watch but rather one to jump in and create memories.    My boys have talked since last Thanksgiving about going on bear hunts throughout the house, thanks to her amazing imagination.    They love their exploring adventures of taking nature hikes through the mountains while camping or exploring for sea creatures at the ocean.    She creates every day memories, like trips to the dollar store and more rare memories for those that she loves.  Memories like sailing in a Windjammer off the coast of Maine with my nephew Bailey.    Memories like exploring Moab with my stepson, Trey. Memories like a trip to Seattle with my stepson, Tyler.   Memories like learning about our nation’s history in Washington DC with my stepson, Seth.   She’s experienced exciting adventures like White Water Rafting with my nephew Taylor and  shared in the magic of Disneyland with my niece, Savannah.

In addition, she works hard at making a normal day more fun and memorable.     For example, she starting collecting camouflage attire in all sizes… sizes for her, and sizes for the smallest little ones.   By the time of our annual visit last summer, she had quite the collection.    She handed out shirts, pants, weapons and recruited Uncle Johnny to do everyone’s makeup.  Then she took her grandkids on a Force Recon Mission in the backyard fields.

As I mentioned previously, she’s not one to sit on the sidelines… you didn’t think she’d miss out on getting her makeup done too, did you?

When everyone was ready in full gear, she headed out with them on a mission.

But it wasn’t just any make-believe mission.   She had researched Force Recon Mission signals and taught the kids about the signals and how a real mission might go down.

Whether it be a trip to the other side of the country with a hefty price tag, or a day in the fields of her California backyard with thrift store pricing, the memories created are priceless.

Thank you, DeEtta for being such an inspiration to me and hopefully an inspiration to my readers.   For those of you reading, think of “Grandma DeDe” and create some memories for your family.   Get off the sidelines and jump right in.   Explore your neighborhood field for treasures, go on a bear hunt down your hallway, start a rock collection with your kids.

Hapy, happy birthday, Grandma DeDe.   We love you and miss you.    We hope you have a fantastic day.   And in the spirit of memories here is an oldie, specifically for you DeDe!   My first video ever uploaded to You Tube.

Love you,