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Scripture Reading Chart

My sister asked me to make this little printable to use for a scripture reading chart for her primary, so I figured I’d share it here too so others could enjoy. :) The cactus paper was a free digital download from here, and the chart part was all ready shared by a lovely lady on the fb primary group. (I messaged her so I could hopefully link back to her website somewhere.) Some had the idea to glue it to 2X4 blocks so it was more substantial, but I think we’ll just have it printed double sided, laminated, and let the parents help tick off the chart with a permanent marker when it’s time. Enjoy!

 

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Happy Three Years

This year to celebrate Shepard and Deacon’s big day they debuted on earth, I’m using the lyrics from my most very favourite hymn from the LDS Hymnbook. We sang it to them in the hospital by their little beds and we sang it at their sweet gravesite  service (a cappella, my favourite way to sing it). Be Still, My Soul, by Katherine von Schlegel. (Click the link for full lyrics.)

I’m sure one of the reasons I love it is because I sing alto, and it has an especially beautiful alto part. It’s got the perfect dissonance to it which has always been a favourite of mine to play on the piano. But the words! The words are so powerful, and hundreds of years old. Grief has not changed, not since the creation of the earth. I often feel a strong connection to mothers from past times, when no one was untouched by grief, especially the unique grief of losing a little brand new baby. To know that mothers just like me have been singing this same hymn for comfort for hundreds of years is beyond resonating. It’s near impossible to choose the most powerful lyric to frame, but truly, the first line is hard to beat.

 

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Be still, my soul. The Lord is on thy side. How wonderful! The all powerful, loving Lord is on MY side and YOUR side. Every time, he’s on OUR side. Even when you’re positive He’s not. I promise you that He is. When you’re physically shaking from sadness, distraught with crushing grief, and your thoughts are all consumed by tragedy, hear His words speaking to your soul. Even if you are so taken by grief that it can only be attempted through song. Calming your soul. Lovingly urging it to be still. He is on thy side. Believe it. Have patience and leave the rest to Him. He is faithfully our best friend. Do not let thy hope or confidence shake! All now mysterious shall be made bright and clear. Soon the time will be here that we will be forever with Him. Sorrow forgot. Love’s purest joy restored. When change and tears are past, safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

I love this version David Archuleta sings and strongly urge you take a listen. :) Click on the graphic for a free download of this beautiful song lyric in 8X10. Oh and I made my life easier this year and just bought the beautiful watercolour wreath and distribution license for this year’s gift, so don’t give me too much credit. ;) Happy three beautiful years since my celestially handsome twin boys Shepard Fred and Deacon Bennett became a part of our eternally-existent family!

 

January 14, 2016 - 12:34 pm

Ashley - Such a sweet post for two perfect boys! That is one of my favourite hymns and the print is darling! ❤️❤️❤️

January 14, 2016 - 5:17 pm

Amelia Crippen Low - Happy Birthday Boys! And beautiful words that made me cry Pam. I’m on my period so emotions are running wild these last couple days. Love you all!

January 14, 2016 - 8:58 pm

Marilee Halvorson - Have a wonderful day with your family!

January 14, 2016 - 11:47 pm

Jamie Green - That’s my favorite too when he is singing to the mo tab it brings me such peace. You are all lived and awesome, thank you for sharing

January 15, 2016 - 4:25 am

Rhonda Steed - Love it. Happy birthday to your sweet boys!!!

2015 First Half

Just trying to get my pictures ready to print and thought I’d share some favs again. Of course they’re all from summer. I sometimes wonder how many more pictures would I have to deal with sorting/editing/printing if I lived in the sunny pretty lighting of California? Ha ha.

IMG_1318Baker’s and Watson’s little relationship is the most adorable thing. Like what is so funny? Ha ha.  I’d probably just cleaned the back hall and they were probably plotting and laughing about how they were going to empty all the lockers the second I turned my back. Ya, that’s prob it. :)
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Haircuts! I avoid haircuts as long as possible, even taking the risk of certain grandmas (they are both guilty! Ha ha!) taking matters into their own hands and cutting some hair themselves! But come on, there’s FIVE boys with growing hair to cut. Lol. You’d put it off too. Plus it immediately makes them all look a year older which I hate. IMG_1318haircutKindergartener Boston and my breakdancing Van the night of his big show. Funny how proud a mom can be of her kids. Like seriously it’s out of hand. Ha! Like someone slap my I’m smiling so big.
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IMG_1318strapsVan the day of his baptism with his new scripture satchel bag and leather journal from Indigo that I loved. His 8th birthday ended up being very leathery. Ha ha. Besides his scriptures, case and journal, he also got a leather tool belt and leather fanny pack for his pellet gun bullets. So manly. :) Love the pic of Watson trying to talk in the walkie talkie…if only he could talk. Or even say mama. Come on Watson, you’re nearly 2! Ha.
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These donkeys at the Kalispell KOA were the nicest and cutest ever. So chill. For anyone wondering, the pool there is kind of half indoor/half outdoor, so most of it isn’t in the sun which isn’t as fun. And it isn’t as toddler friendly, but they have a delicious free yummy breakfast and free go karts which my boys thought was pretty much the greatest thing in the world. :) IMG_1318waterIMG_2419IMG_2428

Yes, the donkey ate the sucker. Stick and everything! Ha ha. IMG_2429

Donkeys so chill even Van man got brave enough to hop on! IMG_2436IMG_2439IMG_2476

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He’s so humble. Ha. IMG_2500

Oh they have a fun little free mini golf course too. :)
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We spent something like 24 nights in our trailer this summer and it was heavenly! I could definitely be a gypsy. IMG_2549
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Finishing off with some quiet moments between a donkey and a mason jar lid. I’ve mentioned I finally replaced our 9 year-old Lappy laptop (I still miss it, but it gave me the black screen of death.) Anyways, in the midst of learning Lightroom, I lost the entire month of July’s pictures. I can’t even think about it it makes me so mad and sad and mad. JULY! By far the month I take the very very most pictures. Every single picture from our trip to Sandpoint, Idaho with the Heggies and every pictures from our trip to Wasa with the Lacey fam. I’m most sad about Sandpoint though. Ha. I had the cutest group picture of the mostly the whole family going out on a family fun run. And some fun ones of Derick and Landon (Lanny better come back and flex some more k Sam?) Ha ha. And a perfect one of Derick and Baker in a canoe at sunset. And the best ones taken on timer of our little family on the huge bridge that spans miles of the lake! It was such a cool bridge and fun place to run and we spent a lot of time up there. Sad and mad and sad. Waaaaaaa.

January 5, 2016 - 9:51 pm

leah - MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE!!!!! MORE pictures and MORE kids please, oh please!

How many kids do you have?

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Six. All boys. And I’d take six more please…

I shared this picture on Instagram all ready, but it’s just too perfect not to blog too. Me and my six boys. The Foothills hospital gives you a teddy bear when your baby doesn’t make it. It seems ridiculous, taking home a teddy bear in a shoebox instead of a baby, and it is. Still, we loved Deacon’s little bear, and it reminds us very dearly of that precious week we spent with our boys. When the bear they gave us for Shepard didn’t match exactly, we immediately ordered him an identical one from eBay. My crafty SIL made the bears little ties that matched the boys’ ties they were buried in exactly in material and size. (Thanks again Jennie!!). These bears sit in a special place always. We move them around the home sometimes as there’s really no shelves of any kind hung on any walls yet! It felt so right using them in our family pictures this year. I’m sure it won’t be the last time!

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It’s amazing how many people ask how many kids a person has, and I’m so thankful at how much I LOVE answering it. It used to be harder to answer, and now it’s a little less hard, but mostly I just love a chance to tell someone about all of my boys. My earthly boys represent themselves quite well physically. :) My heavenly boys don’t get that chance, so I love being able to represent for them. The other difficulty is hoping people don’t feel bad for bringing it up. I can tell some do, and I do my best to put them at ease, and I hope it works. We couldn’t be prouder we’ve got SIX boys. SIX BOYS! All dark, brown-haired handsome boys. How is that even possible? Lol. And as if they don’t look alike enough, the fact that two of them are exactly identical? Quite hilarious. And sad, but also hilarious. A part of me will ALWAYS be sad they aren’t here all together, but I don’t want that to ever keep us from sharing a laugh with friends and even strangers that yes, we have six nice, sweet boys! That first we had three boys. And then we had two more exactly identical boys because three similarly looking ones weren’t enough. And then after ALL that, we needed another one. (Did we ever.) But really, it’s so comical and just so great. Ha.

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I know telling others their ‘real’ number of how many kids one has is not for everyone, and of course that’s perfectly okay! I support whatever anyone’s heart needs to do to conquer the day. Or just whatever plain feels right in their heart. I definitely also want to offer support to anyone who wants to say their real number, but can’t. (It’s HARD.) For me, I couldn’t not say six. Anything other than six is a lie. Like it almost makes me laugh out loud to think of telling someone I only have four boys? How absurd. Why aren’t my heavenly boys just as real as my earthly ones? Especially given our faith and knowledge of heaven. I know Shepard and Deacon are a heck of a lot busier (if that’s possible) than even these four busy boys on earth are. I have six busy boys. They are just as real and just as much ours as my arms and legs are my limbs. It’s the very definition of eternal families, the essence of our entire LDS faith and gospel.

So here’s basically what I say with a smile when asked. :) “I’ve actually had six boys! We unfortunately lost twin boys, so I have four earthly boys and two heavenly ones.” Sometimes when it’s a complete stranger, say in Ikea for example, I just leave it at six boys, and I selfishly indulge in and soak up their astoundement and admiration. Because when I don’t mention the twins are in heaven, I don’t have to see how sorry they feel for us in their eyes. (Which is understandable and fine, of course.) But we just get to have a moment to enjoy our six boys untouched by grief. It’s wonderful, and strangers are my favourite.

The strangers at the Victoria’s Secret counter have been among my most memorable. Ha ha! I was by myself, they didn’t believe I was even a mom, and when they asked how many kids, their jaws dropped. Especially I’m sure because I was still buying lingerie at that point. Lol! I had to laugh. Another great one was when a new friend from our cruise who couldn’t believe a person could even have six kids who said after, “well actually that’s not that surprising, I’ve seen the way ya’ll dance with each other up in the club.” Cue the cry laugh emoji. I promise our dancing was G-rated! Too funny.

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Sending a christmas card out is one of my favourite ways to involve the twins in our lives. Last year life was busy and it didn’t get done, and it was a bummer. So this year I kept it simple and used a pre-made card through Pro Digital Photos in Utah. I did add the snow and the phrase to, “Through the years we all will be together, if the fates allow.” It turned out perfect! Thanks as usual to Leah for taking adorable photos of my family for me. You have no idea how many pictures are complete throwaways due to the awkwardness that is her sister. Lol.

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So for anyone who struggles with their real number, just do it! For the longest time I just don’t think discussing anything of such a sad nature with others in small talk was even thought appropriate, but society is changing, and you and I can help normalize it so for whoever wants to say their real number, can. Just maybe we can reach a point where people won’t be so surprised to hear someone mention their children in heaven, stillborn or not, or to even have someone mention miscarriages that happened in between (because those are enormous events that shouldn’t be taboo and deserve to be made mention of it that’s what a mom needs to do). Because to me, discussing family members who are in heaven is just as real as discussing family members in the next room. For many people it is the same! So why not say it out loud to one another? Why keep these truths to ourselves? It hurts to think of a mom telling someone her wrong number, knowing she aches a little more each time to not say the real number, but choosing to let herself hurt about it rather than possibly make another feel awkward. And let’s not forget about the dads. They hurt too and can be just as sensitive and loving as any mother out there. You are brave enough. People are kind, and they want you to feel comfortable saying whatever number your heart feels it needs to. I promise! Even if your number comes with a small explanation. There’s no greater feeling on earth than for a mama with children in heavenly realms to celebrate ALL of your children. And it doesn’t hurt that the minute you tell someone you do have a few heavenly children and a few earthly ones, it immediately softens their heart a little, and gives them a bit more understanding into your heartaches and hurts you have to bear. The world can never have too much of extra softening and understanding.

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I started the tradition of a white heavenly tree for our Shepard and Deacon in our home this year. I put two identical ornaments on it each year we aren’t together. It makes my heart full to think of adding beautiful ornaments to it every year and watch it grow.  It makes my heart completely burst to think of the year we are together, and we don’t have to add to this tree anymore, but we can just enjoy it together. And I can tell them all about our tree, and the reasons behind my choice for each ornament. I also can’t wait for the family to open their gift from the twins this Christmas morning! Christmas is in six sleeps!!! Can you even imagine what Christmas is like in heaven? Celebrating Christ’s birth WITH Christ? Celebrating Christmas in a place where every single person is literally a perfect angel? Do you think all of their trees are white? It seems unfathomably celestial. Kind of like eternal families. Merry Christmas. :)

 

 

 

 

 

December 19, 2015 - 2:26 pm

Micah pavan - Just beautiful. I’m in tears.

December 19, 2015 - 3:00 pm

Tony Halvorson - I always love reading your posts. You have a very inspiring amount of Faith. Thanks for that.

December 19, 2015 - 7:42 pm

Julie Smith - So beautiful Pam!! Absolutely love this.

December 19, 2015 - 8:16 pm

Stephen Heggie - Merry Christmas.

December 19, 2015 - 9:20 pm

Derick Heggie - Thanks babe, all these boys are lucky to have you as a mom. :)

December 19, 2015 - 9:38 pm

Jamie Green - You amaze me everyday, you have a heart of gold and heavenly Father definitely knew those two special spirits needed to come to you and your famiky, you are all are so supportive and loving and a great example. Merry Christmas

December 19, 2015 - 10:42 pm

Mandy Stevens Butler - I love this!! I feel you and I love the white Christmas tree idea! I may just borrow it and add a couple years worth

C o n n e c t