Sunday, December 30, 2007

Heiss Year in Review - 2007

Here's the latest version of Reid's Christmas poem. He managed to find time to tackle this annual project in the midst of two very difficult classes. Hurray for him!

All the Heiss grandkids like Christmas a lot
But they’re both very young, so perhaps they do not.
I love being Grandpa; it’s really the best,
And my grandkids are cuter than all of the rest.

First there came Rachel—born in July
With ten fingers and toes and two gorgeous blue eyes.
Her mother is Nancy; her father’s my son.
You remember Andrew, that blonde goofy one.

That’s right, he’s a dad now; I know, we’re stunned, too.
When it comes to the baby, we hope he knows what to do.
Where Andrew is clueless, smart Nancy has clues;
When Andrew wears flip-flops, wise Nancy wears shoes.

Clueless, I say; well, perhaps I misspeak—
It takes more than one clue to speak Arab-ique.
He’s one semester away from a Bachelor’s degree,
And what after that, I don’t know, but we’ll see.

And Katharine and Todd had a son with a name
That is quite hard to spell, but they proudly proclaim
It’s Todd’s middle name that’s spelled K A Y L.
Not Kyle, Keel, or Cal; no, the name rhymes with tale.

And the tales we can tell of our third child Sarah
Who lives on her own in the French Riviera.
Okay, not quite France, yes, I exaggerate.
She moved to an apartment just south of Salt Lake.

She finished high school and obtained a position
Where she gets both a wage and a hefty commission.
So at home we have two of our five who remain:
Emily and Jacob—the last two cars of our train.

Next May Emily will face graduation
And has already submitted her BYU application.
She’s still in the band and the orchestra, too.
She went on a tour from Kirtland to Nauvoo.

From New York to Boston and Chicago as well.
Vermont she just loved with its tin syrup pails.
She works at a music store just down the street
Keeping music and instruments tidy and neat.

And Jacob, our last one’s a Junior this year,
He’s sixteen years old with a grin ear to ear.
And why such a grin, from this child of late?
Of course, you all know, because now he can date.

He has gone on two dates with two different girls,
But encountered a wrinkle in this new dating world.
You see, he can’t drive yet and the car’s one I own,
So he goes on the date, and I chaperone.

“A fate worse than death! It’s totally uncool!
Having dad in the front seat is very old school.”
Cool—I’m the one who invented that phrase.
You see, I was the cool one back in the days.

Our dear nephew Richard got married last year
To our great friend Diana; we’re glad they live near.
They’re having a baby—just two months to go.
Its gender is male; this they already know.

Now to tell you of us, without fabrication,
I’ll start with our little Hawaiian vacation.
For 25 years being married to me,
Karen wanted to plan a trip out to sea.

So we told all the kids the wonderful news:
In August their parents would go on a cruise.
We biked down a volcano and got too much sun.
We cruised four cool islands and had so much fun!

Our dear Grandma Karen, she needed a break.
It was one of those years that was filled with some aches.
Three days before Christmas she broke her left shoulder
By slipping on ice (she hates weather that’s colder).

They fixed both her wrists—carpal tunnel, it was.
Then in November the doc gave her a buzz:
“Your right shoulder has problems; come in right away.”
It was back to the hospital, but just for a day.

The joint had some calcium, they saw at the first.
Turns out that the muscle was loose, which was worse.
But in a few months when the healing is done
She will be like brand new as she was on day one.

In spite of all that she was still in the loop
To chaperone Sarah and Emily’s school groups.
She went north to Ogden and cold Idaho.
Then on south to Vegas (I didn’t want to go).

While my family had children and traveled to places,
Me, I stayed home and just made sour faces.
I’m three classes away from being all through
With school, and I’ll graduate from BYU.

I finished Accounting and fought through Statistics.
I endured Legal Theory without going ballistic.
Just three classes to go, and then I am done.
And what’s next? No idea. Suggestions, someone?

Well, I did it again. Guess what? So did you!
You wasted ten minutes catching up with our news.
But I wouldn’t feel good if I failed to suggest
That in 2008 Hillary Clinton’s the best!

Reid & Karen Heiss
106 West 1960 North
Orem, UT 84057

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

23 Years Ago . . .

Do you remember where you were 23 years ago? I know exactly where I was and exactly what I was doing. Not that I'm bragging about my excellent memory, it's just that it was the day my first child was born. I would imagine that every mother remembers that experience (mostly the good parts of it), and I'm no exception.
Andrew Thomas Heiss was born September 19, 1984, a day late and a dollar short, to coin a phrase. We had been married just over two years, and Reid was a senior at BYU. I had graduated in 1983 and was working full time up until just before Andrew was born.

Now he's 23 years old and has a little family of his own. You can see pictures of my first grandchild, Rachel, on their blog:

I don't know how, but my life has gone by progressively faster as the years go on. It's kind of nice, though, to see my children grow up and live good lives. Thank you, Andrew, for the past 23 years of joy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

These are a few . . .

of my favorite pictures of Dukie:

The epitome of contentment

Dukie's well-deserved place at the table

Drinking from a Dixie cup (Emily's trying it, too!)

She loved to sleep in open drawers

Paper or plastic--she was attracted to either type of bag

Somehow she figured my office chair was hers

Even a cat needs a teddy bear once in a while

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Farewell to our friend, Dukie

Tuesday, July 3, was a sad day for the Heiss family. Dukie had been ill for a while, and when the vet determined that she probably had a bone tumor, we decided it would be best to have her euthanized.

Fourteen years ago, our wonderful friends (the Kramers) kindly and unexpectedly left a kitten for us one evening while we were not at home. We came in the house and listened to a phone message telling us they had left a kitten in one of our window wells. When we looked outside, however, there was no kitten in the window well. Instead she was hiding nearby. With four anxious children begging, "Can we keep it?", we just couldn't resist. She has been a treasured part of our family ever since.

Taking Dukie to the vet to be with her at the end was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Katharine, Sarah, and Emily were there, too, and we were quite the sight. I know it was absolutely the right thing to do, but it broke my heart.

We'll miss her, but we'll hold on to all the precious memories of a silly, spoiled, wonderful cat.

Friday, June 1, 2007

The most recent Heiss graduate

Wednesday, May 30, was a momentous occasion--for Sarah, at least. Yes, she is now a high school graduate. I missed the announcement of her name, but the video shows her receiving her diploma cover and shaking hands with the important people. The only way to tell her apart from the other graduates is to notice her hot pink lei.

Beautiful Sarah!

Emily, Katharine, Sarah, and Jacob

Mom, Dad, Sarah, and Grandma Pat

Friday, May 25, 2007

Celebrating the Performing Arts

For the first time ever, all the performing arts groups at Timpanogos High School got together for one big concert on May 7. This was especially cool for us since all three of our children at THS were involved. Sarah and Jacob are on the ballroom team, and Emily plays flute in band and cello in orchestra. The dance videos begin in black, but just be patient and wait for the music to begin playing. Emily is 1st cello (the one closest to the conductor and the front of the stage). Here are their performances:

In the Middle of the Night - Ballroom Team

It Don't Mean a Thing - Ballroom Team with Jazz Band

Happy Feet - Ballroom Team

Funiculi, Funicula - Symphony Orchestra and A Cappella choir with Justin Benson, soloist

When the Saints Go Marching In - Symphony Orchestra and A Cappella choir

St. Paul's Suite, 1st movement - String Orchestra

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Timpanogos Dance Theatre

Timpanogos High School has an excellent modern dance program (if you like that sort of thing). Sarah needed a fine arts credit, so this semester she took Dance 3, the class just below the dance theater team. It's an entirely different style of dancing--not at all what she's used to in ballroom--but she has enjoyed the experience. The first video is just an introductory piece of each class, but I only taped Dance 3's portion.

This piece is entitled "Give It To Me." Sarah is mostly on the right side of the stage, but it's nearly impossible to tell you which one she is since they all look alike!

The last dance she was in was called "Shaping Us." No offense to those of you who enjoy this type of dancing, but I'm personally relieved it's over. Sarah is in the back row, wearing orange and black.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Say Goodbye to the Violin Recitals

Wednesday, May 2, was a major milestone for Emily--her final violin recital. After taking violin lessons for years, she has decided to put more focus on the cello and the flute and take her talent to the next level with those instruments. Congratulations to her for all she has accomplished! I'd like to thank her teachers. First, Shaun Broderick, one of Andrew's great high school friends, helped Emily begin her love affair with the violin. And for the past several years, Christine Davis (who plays with the Orchestra on Temple Square) has taught, encouraged, and inspired Emily to do wonderful things with her talents. I hope you enjoy this video of Emily in a violin trio playing Pachelbel's Canon in D. She's the one on the right.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Gnome, Sweet Gnome

Reid's grandfather (Opa, as he was known to most) was famous for his garden. He cherished each and every plant and always made sure his yard and garden were taken care of. Opa had quite a collection of garden gnomes, many of which had been repainted over the years. Some of the older ones were made of cement, and some were made of resin. All of the Heiss grandkids enjoyed seeing those gnomes in Opa's garden.

When Opa died, the family divided up the gnomes, and we brought four of them home. They were in desperate need of new paint, and I dutifully put them on my craft counter so I could "get around to it." That was over six years ago!

I'm proud to report that our four little gnomes have finally been spruced up and have found a new home in our "Opa Memorial Garden" on the side of our house. They turned out pretty cute (and I'm glad to have the counter space available again).

Our side yard

The one with the bucket (resin)

Carrying a pole (resin)

Fisherman (cement)

The one with the wheelbarrow (cement - weighs a ton!)

Never Again

All I can say after the trip to Arizona is, "Remind me never to do that again." After a couple of uneventful days (with Sarah still mad at me), on Friday I went to dinner with Rulon & Marcy, Therena & Taylor, David & Joy, and Bethany & Bryan. About an hour after we got home, I started feeling very queasy. After a couple of hours, I was on my knees in the bathroom worshiping the porcelain throne. What a miserable night! I spent the entire night throwing up every hour or so. That's pretty difficult considering there was nothing left in my stomach after the first episode. By the time Saturday dawned, my insides decided to add diarrhea to the equation. I spent the entire day in agony!

So what brought all this on? Come to find out, Therena's little boy had this stomach bug before we got there, and Rulon & Therena both had it on Thursday. So being the generous family that we are, we decided to share. On Friday night, there were three of us in the house who were sick--me, Daniel, and Dale. Maybe family togetherness isn't all it's cracked up to be.

We decided to embark on our journey back to Orem at 8:00 Sunday morning. Thankfully, my insides were feeling almost normal by then, so I was able to drive home without incident. The weather, however, didn't cooperate very well. But instead of wind and sand, this time it was rain and snow. Sarah and her friends remained angry with me through the whole trip. I'll forever remember this "vacation" as the one I should never have taken.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Spring vacation?

I'm here in sunny Arizona, rather reluctantly, spending a few days with my brother Rulon and his family. You see, our dear Sarah and some of her friends had planned on driving down here for their school spring break. We thought she was doing well as far as being trustworthy, but disappointed us with some big lies on Monday. So we gave her two options: either lose the trip to Arizona completely, or I would have to go with them. We had one upset and angry daughter after that conversation!

So yesterday we left Orem at 5:30 a.m. and arrived in Mesa just over 11 hours later. Sarah was still mad at me and ended up sleeping half of the way here. I drove the entire way, even though I only had four hours of sleep the night before, but I wasn't about to let Sarah drive. I was extremely tired and experienced a real miracle throughout the day.

Every time we stopped for a potty break, I would get out of the car and start feeling weak and exhausted. I felt like I just couldn't go on and would pray for strength and the ability to keep driving. Then I would get back in the car. As soon as I sat down, I didn't feel tired at all and was able to go on. Then the next time I'd get out, that same exhausted feeling would come back. Another prayer and pleading with my Heavenly Father for strength--then I'd get back in the car and be okay. It happened every time we stopped. This was a very real answer to my prayers, and we arrived in Arizona without incident.

I'm glad Sarah didn't drive down here, either with me or with just her friends, because the weather on this trip was horrible. I've made this trip in rain and snow before, so I've experienced bad conditions, but yesterday the problem was the wind. The wind kicked up as we went through Beaver, Utah, and just got worse and worse as we went further south. Going across the Indian reservation south of Page was like driving through a constant sandstorm. The land is so dry that every gust of wind carried dirt and debris. There were times when visibility was down to just a few hundred feet. The crosswind was blowing so hard that it took all I had to keep the van straight on the road. The wind stayed with us all the way to Mesa. I don't think I've ever been so happy to get to Rulon's house!

Once we got here, we were informed that I would have to share a room with Sarah and her two friends (Rulon & Marcy's guest room is already occupied). I thought Sarah was going to explode with anger. She gave me a glare that would have killed me if it could. So I took the girls upstairs to our shared room and informed them that they all needed to stop blaming me for this. If Sarah hadn't lied to me and caused the problem, then I wouldn't be here, and if I get any more attitude we'll just turn right around and drive back home. The nerve of them to treat me like that when I'm the one who made it possible for them to be here at all.

Now that I'm done complaining, just let me say how much I enjoy Arizona's weather at this time of year. It think it's around 80 degrees today, and the sun is shining in a bright, clear sky. And even though I had to leave behind lots of work, it's nice to be forced to have a vacation. Now if I could just get Sarah to stop being angry with me and start working on her habit of not telling the truth!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Scholarly Andrew

Yesterday we had the opportunity to attend the Symposium Humanitatum, BYU's Fifth Annual College of Humanities Undergraduate Research Symposium. Andrew had submitted a paper and was accepted for presentation. It was called "Inferno XXVIII: Orientalism and Oedipus Meet Dante and Mohammed." I taped the whole thing (about 12 minutes) but honestly didn't understand much of it. You really need to know the subject matter to figure out what he is talking about, but that's okay. It's just interesting to see what a scholar he has become!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

It's a girl !!!

We've been anxiously waiting to see what gender our first grandchild is going to be. Andrew and Nancy went to the doctor for an ultrasound yesterday, and they have posted the results on their blog. Use the link on this blog to get to theirs--you'll get quite a kick out of our goofy Andrew!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Talented Emily

Emily participated in her Winter Violin Recital on February 28. Even though she was a bit nervous at the beginning, she finished with flair -- it's just too bad my camera battery died right in the middle of her performance. Take my word for it, she was great!

The Lindy

This time the dance was a Lindy. Sarah is dancing with Daniel Miller; they are on the left and she is in a black & white dress. Jacob and his partner Kimberlee Hugh are to the right of them and a little bit farther away from the camera. She is wearing a dark dress with gold sparkly trim on the collar.

Sarah & Jacob & the Cha Cha

Two of our children happen to be on the Timpanogos High School Ballroom Dance Team, and here they had a chance to compete together doing the Cha Cha. They are the ones on the far right side of the floor.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Sarah - West Coast Swing

This is Sarah's semi-final performance in the West Coast Swing. In case you couldn't tell, she's the "Lady in Red." She and her partner, Trevor Pratt, were just a few points shy of making it to the final.

Ballroom Competition

Sarah & Jacob participated in the Gem State Ballroom Competition on February 24. Sarah's favorite part is helping all the girls with their makeup!

Friday, March 2, 2007

Why the Real Heisses?

Since our son Andrew and his wife Nancy have been blogging for quite some time, they have decided they are the Cool Heisses. However, we've been around a lot longer, so we are the Real Heisses!

Last summer we discovered a new hike in one of our favorite places, Capitol Reef National Monument in southern Utah. Here we are standing in Sulphur Creek. This is a terrific family hike--if I can do it, anyone can.