The 5 Hirning's Happenings

My thoughts & happenings in the life of the Hirning's that I want to share with the world...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

2008 In Review

What a year! I just still can't believe that it's less than a week before Christmas. We finally got our Christmas wish last week and got snow on the ground. It really wasn't feeling like Christmas with no snow on the ground. My mom flies in on Christmas from Florida and she needed a white Christmas, I don't think she wanted one but she is getting one.

Dan is still working for QSP. With the economy being like it is it is a scary business to be in. The sad and good thing is schools and groups still need extra money so hopefully we won't get hit too hard. This summer Dan worked for the Missoula Osprey, baseball team, as an usher. He really had fun doing it and even though the pay isn't much is considering doing it again. Dan turned the BIG 40 this year too. The sad thing was he was away from us as he was at his summer QSP meeting in Connecticut. (You can see a slide show of his life, check the July blogs). He continues to WOW us and spoils us with his yummy cooking. He cheered on the Montana Grizzlies last night, with a houseful of friends, to a hopeful National Championship but it didn't happen. The Richmond Spiders put us in a web! Oh, well, there is always next year.

I decided to run for another term for a seat on the Missoula County School Board. Lucky me no one chose to run for a seat and there was two open, so I didn't have to run a full campaign. My name was the only one on the ballot and we ended up having two write ins. 4,154 voted for me, err, or well, colored in the dot next to my name and I was allowed to keep my seat as a trustee. In May, I went back to real world with a real job. I am not a huge fan of pretty much any aspect of it. I miss being able to hang out at the schools and help in the kids classes, I miss sleeping in, going to the YMCA in the mornings, hanging out with my friends whenever I want, bowling in the afternoon league, ohhhh, working stinks. But, bills and money call. I've really had no time to scrapbook and that is always a new years resolution to try to add that into my life,ohh, next year.

Emily is now the BIG 13 and in the 7th grade. She had a busy year. She auditioned for a part in the play Seussical through our local theater and got a part as a Who. There was many long nights of rehearsals and over two weeks of performances. But it was awesome and she is just a natural up there. She played softball, made the All-Star team and played soccer again this fall. She still continues to be a superb student at school and plays the oboe. Emily was involved in her very first automobile accident, check out the October blogs, it's a good story.

Hannah turned 10 this summer and is in the 5th grade. She started cello and piano this year and is doing very well. She continues to be a soccer star and also made a softball All Star team. She even started pitching and hopes to spend more time up there on the pitchers mound.

Benjamin is 5 and started kindergarten this fall. In Missoula we recently implemented all day kindergarten, thus why I started working. He loves it. He told me he wants to be in kindergarten forever. He is already reading and just a little social butterfly. Everyone knows and loves Benjamin! He finally was old enough for team sports and played soccer and tball. This fall he really excelled at soccer and scored 7 goals in one game! He is a stud ~ but a sweet boy too.

On a sad note, we had to say good bye to a dear friend, Sebastian. We had him for 14years and they had thought that he was at least 2+ years when we got him. He lived a full life and it was the hardest decision we ever had to make, but, we had him put down in October. It was a hard time and still brings tears to my eyes, as it is now. He was a good dog! We still have our beast, Sadie, the chocolate lab. It was sad for her to lose her buddy she loved to torment but she is now loving all the attention.

All in all, it was a good year. With the economy and gas prices the way they were we were unable to do any travelling this summer. We were home bodies. But, we hope next year to drive to Erie, PA for my 20th class reunion and have a nice visit with family and friends. I am re-reading this letter and this has to be the most boring one I have ever written. Sorry for that, nothing fancy or funny. Just us. It must be since I put it off to the last minute and am just scrambling to get thoughts down and I still have some baking to complete. Feel free to check in on us anytime during the year on our blog. I try to keep it pretty updated, we would love to hear from you too!

We hope everyone has a blessed new year and a wonderful Christmas. Remember that Jesus is the reason for all this craziness we put ourselves through. We love you all! - The Hirnings (Kelley, Dan, Emily, Hannah & Benjamin ~ Sadie too)

2008 In Review...It's A Coming

If you are checking in to read our Christmas letter - hold your horses. It's a coming. I put it off till the last minute and am working on it as I type this. Ugh! Why do I do this????

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Emily turns the BIG 1-3!

It is hard to believe that Emily turned the BIG 13 today. It just seems like yesterday we were waiting her arrival and the start of this whole roller coaster of parenthood! She got the best birthday present ever - a cell phone! She does not have texting but she is still pretty excited. She is a good kid and we are very blessed to have her as our oldest dughter!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My name is Kelley and I am a facebook addict

So I saw where someone was starting a facebook blackout from December 15th 6:00pm to December 16th 6:00pm. I am not really sure the reason, they want facebook to do more for us or something like that. Anyway, I felt it would be a great opportunity to see if I really do have an addiction to facebook. Okay, well, it's been almost 20 hours and even though I would love to click on that little button on my computer that would take me there I haven't. I think I am going to make it the full 24 hours, I do miss Scrabble though today. Hmmmmm...It's just a fun way to stay connected with friends and family all over the country and well now world since I have friend from high school that just accepted my friendship who is stationed in Germany. What can I say? I'm a social butterfly...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Bible Book of Hang Glider?

Benjamin last week came home from Awanas very proud of himself. He had learned a new bible verse. I asked him to recite the verse ~ "in the beginning God cweated the heavens and the earth". I said "very good buddy. What book does that come out of?" He says "hang glider". I look at him perplexed and then Hannah explains to me that is the name of his Sparks book. I look at the cover and lo and behold it is called "Hang Glider". What a smart boy!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Community Service

You do the crime, you do the time? Is that the saying. Oh my little litter bug. I don't know what it is with Benjamin but he feels a need to drop garbage on the ground rather than in a trash can. I told him next he was caught littering I was going to drive him to a park and make him pick up the garbage on the ground. Well after church on Sunday he got busted again. We were invited to Maura's for a family Christmas party ~ which Benjamin had a blast at last year. Dan dropped off the girls at the party and Benjamin had to go to Linda Vista Park and pick up garbage. Boy, he was crying. "I'm going to miss arts & crafts time" ~ last year Maura had them decorate cookies and a frame ornament for the tree and he did not want to miss that. We explained he was in trouble and had to do his time and then could go to the party. Dan asked him what he learned from the experience and he said "that he has garbage to pick up at the park". Well, yes but not that was what he was supposed to learn. We will see if he litters again! By the way he did not miss arts & crafts and was able to decorate cookies & an ornament!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ho, Ho, Ho

Hard to believe Christmas is almost here. Working on my Christmas cards, trying to find the perfect cookie for my cookie exchange, most of the presents are wrapped, the house is decorated...what else have I forgot? This is kind of going too smoothly this year.

I took the kids to see Santa last week. I was surprised that Emily was okay with going but she was. Benjamin told me he was going to ask Santa for an I-Dog and I reminded him he really wanted a Nintendo DS. "Oh yeah", he said he had forgot. Santa asked Emily what she wanted and all she wanted was a cell phone, the Aeropostle store, an ipod... Santa asked Benjmain if his sisters were good and Benjamin pointed to Emily and said she was but that Hannah wasn't. Emily then agreed. Santa asked Hannah what she wanted but she just kept being goofy and never answered him. Thursday night we had our BUNCO Christmas party ~ again at Kristin's work. As you can see we are a pretty bunch (kidding), as you can see we had lots of fun!

Friday, December 5, 2008


So I never let everyone know that we did get a new vehicle. Fred! Fred is a red, 1998 Chevrolet Blazer. Dan is now the driver of Fred and Mike is back to being mine. Emily thought I, since I am the mom, should drive the mini van and that Dad would look more professional not in a mini van. Whatever. Iris is sitting in front of our home looking for a new family. I am in cahoots with a local preacher who gives away vehicles to needy people. We are trying to find someone to fix Iris, at hopefully no charge, so we can give her to a needy family this holid, oops, no, I mean, Christmas season. I hate when people take CHRIST out of the season...but that's another gripe for another day.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

So Thankful...

I complain a lot but I do have a pretty good life; the love of my family, we are all healthy, we have food in our bellys (is that spelled right?) and we have a roof over our heads. Here are a couple of pics from Thanksgiving ~ Dennis & JoAnn came over from Billings and Dan prepared us a yummy meal. Grandpa and I took Hannah & Benjamin down to the carousel to ride the ponies a few times and we played PIT later that night. The next day we had to get up and get decorating for the Holiday Season. I'll add those pics later. I am also thankful for all of you ~ my trusty readers of our never boring life!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Advent Conspiracy

Many of you may have seen this as I posted it on my facebook page but this is so amazing and so scary to think about. But, is it really? Look at what happened this week as a 34 yr old holiday worker at a NY Wal Mart was trampled to death as shoppers just tried to get to the good deals first. How sad. What has our lives, or this world, turned in to that others safety is not first over us getting more stuff. Stuff! Do we not remember that we can't take it with us? As I purchse the few gifts we are giving this year ~ I will think of people going without food, water, I will think of the worker tht was killed for stuff and I will focus on giving from the heart and if I don't know what to get someone I'm not just going to buy stuff. It has to have meaning or really what is the meaning of giving it?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Griz win 35-3

It's one of the most wonderful times of the year ~ GRIZ/Cat weekend. (it's really only wonderful if the GRIZ win, but they have for the last 3 years) It is the big state rivalry between the Montana Grizzlies (U of M ~ here in Missoula) and the Montana State Bobcats (Bozeman). The game is always so fun, whether the game is here or in Bozeman and then we get together with Griz and Cat fans alike to watch. This year was pretty cool because the GRIZ came out with Old School Colors ~ Cooper and Gold ~ we haven't worn those colors since Em was born in 1995. It was cool and brought a little tear to some mens eyes (Travis S, probably Dan too, he had sun glasses on though). It was the largest sporting event ever played in Montana (with the new addition to Washington Grizzly stadium this summer) with over 25,000 people there to watch the Griz smoke the kitties! Awesome, awesome day...

By the way, I also attached a weird photo. Check it out ~ during halftime we were walking around the stadium and Dan said look at all the guys looking out at the river. I was like, "huh? they aren't looking out at the river. Ewwww ~ they are peeing". How lazy! See the outhouse in the pic? Instead of peeing in there they (and at one time there was atleast 6-7) were going in the grass/river area. How gross!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

All American Girls (With Carrie Underwood)

It was announced in June that Carrie Underwood was coming to Missoula on November 21st. I so wanted to take the girls to their first concert but tickets sold out within a few hours. I held out hope that I could score some tickets the week of the concert. Well, after a lot of phone calls and playing on line it happened ~ the day of the concert no less. I scored us 3 tickets on the arena floor. I had put out the word that I was looking for tickets so then I always have lots of ears and eyes open. Our friends, the Caldwells, called to let me know that more tickets went on sale and I told her I had got mine already the hour before. We decided to go to the concert together with her 3 girls & our 2. It was an awesome concert and lots of fun. Emily & Mackenzie ended up being right in front of the stage and got touched by members of Little Big Town, they weren't excited enough not to wash their hands. They said if Carrie would have touched them they would not have washed their hands, for how long? I don't know. Ewww ~ gross! It was a perfect night - lots of fun and now most of our Christmas shopping is done ~ it was a spendy night

Thursday, November 13, 2008

So I Am Feeling Like A Hypocrite

Emily wants a cell phone and the deal was if she had all A's before her 13th birthday she would get one for her bday present. Well, she has all A's but one B in advanced math. Hmmmm...the whole reason I feel like a hypocrite is Em really wants texting if she gets a phone which I tell her no, she will not get it. Maybe in high school. I ask why she needs texting and she says to talk to her friends and such. I then act all old fashioned and tell her "well in my day when we wanted to talk to a friend, we called them or did it face to face". But, and here is a BIG but...I talk to friends all day long from my past and present on facebook. I probably wouldn't talk to most of these people face to face. Or on the phone? So am I hypocrite? Aren't I doing the same thing?

P.S. Emily if you are reading this it does not mean you will be getting texting if you get a phone!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Rainbow

Benjamin and I saw a beautiful rainbow yesterday. As big as could be, we saw end to end. Benjamin was so excited about the colors. "Look Mom there's purple". Then he proceeded to tell me that he wished he was up there and could slide down the big rainbow. He looked at me and said "Mom, maybe Sebastian is sliding down the rainbow", it kind of suprised me that me he brought up Sebastian but I agreed that Sebastian could be sliding down that big beautiful rainbow.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Laundry Wars

So a few years back I got very frustrated with the girls and their laundry. Their hampers were full of inside out clothes, socks in balls and better yet, clean clothes. I had enough and decided they needed to do their own laundry. They would then realize my frustrations. Ha, ha, ha (are you laughing too?)

Well it has still caused nothing but frustrations. They just wash their clothes inside out, balled up and they still put clean clothes in their hamper when they get lazy and wash it again...when they do wash!

There is screaming weekly during laundry time. We encourage them every weekend to do their laundry. We encourage them to wash their clothes together ~ especially whites but that caused more problems ~ who was going to move it, fold it, etc... Every weekend laundry does not get all the way DONE they leave it laying in the washer & dryer and the laundry area is always a mess. Candy wrappers everywhere. Earrings & headbands laying around. Fabric softner sheets never making it in the garbage. The laundry baskets are never neatly stacked - just thrown in the area. Every week I yell, show frustration, scream, want to cry, "Why can't it ever just be done and done right?"

So, I told Dan I wasn't even going to tell them to do their laundry. They each went almost a full month without doing their laundry. I can tell you they don't have that many pairs of pants, shirts (well, maybe), socks and more grossly UNDERWARE. Last weekend we finally made them do their laundry and you know what it just isn't worth it. I am taking it back. I just can't handle it anymore! But I know this doesn't mean that the "laundry wars" is over. I may occasionally ask them to move some laundry, or fold something that might not be theirs or better yet to put away the clean laundry I just washed & folded in the same afternoon ~ and there will be eye rolling, whining, yelling...Why can't they just get it? Dan wants to know why I let it bother me so much ~ I should know better! Well I don't, I'm hopeful! Ha, ha (are you laughing too?)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

As A New Day Dawns

Well, as I sit here and get ready to go to bed. I keep thinking back to my thoughts of the day. When I was walking into my polling place this morning I had so many different emotions. Proud ~ to be an American and to have the chance to, kind of, have my say.I had tears in my eyes and was choked up after voting. Moodiness ~ as it was raining on me and I had to park pretty far away. Wonderment ~ wondering what the next day would bring. Would we make history and vote in an African American president? Would we vote in a female vice president? Optimism ~ still hoping that John McCain would win. I know how many of my friends and family can't believe the audacity of me wanting John McCain and Sarah Palin to win, but I did. That is where my vote went today...sorry. I am not here to criticize or defend my vote. I am just here to say how I feel.

The day was also interesting listening to the kids. Benjamin got off the bus today and asked me who I voted for. I told him that was personal and not something that people had to share. He then explained to me that he voted for "duck". They voted for duck and cow in his class and "duck" won. He then proceed to tell me he would vote for "Arock Obama". Later he explained to me why he hoped "Arock" would win. He told me he liked his tan. I said "tan?". He said "no! Plan". I asked him what his plan was and he told me to have Mommys & Daddys read to their kids every night. Not sure where he got that from. Emily and her class have talked so much about this election and she was telling me at dinner about the electorals and how many each state got. She was very informative. Hannah was enjoying watching the returns and what they were saying. She had so many questions and comments about the night. I don't remember being in 5th or 7th grade and knowing so much about an election or even caring. Maybe a new day is dawning...I just hope it's the best day for America. God bless America!

2008-09 School Pics

Hard to believe that next year Hannah will be in middle school. She is now a 5th grader. Even harder to believe that Emily will be in high school in two years, she's a BIG 7th grader. Okay, maybe even harder for me to believe that my baby is in kindergarten! All their pics turned out so cute! Them and their little 'tudes!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween 2008

Here are pictures of the kids this year. Benjamin was a GRIZ football player. He loved that the number was 5 and that he is 5! Hannah wanted to be a nerd and she was a great one! Emily was a ladybug, we tried to discourage her from trick or treating this year but she bought her own costume and went out with some friends. Emily and Hannah both had friends come over and trick or treat with them. Emily and her friends went off on their own but Hannah was trying so hard to get away from me. She then asked if they could walk a house or two in front of Benjamin and I. I asked her if I was really that bad?? Funny thing is Hannah and Mikayla were the first ones home. Benjamin and I had a great time. He is such a sweet boy. One guy even told him he was a "patient boy". He would walk up to the door and by the time someone came to the door there would be other kids there and they would push him out of the way, he just stood there and waited. Our little guy needs to get a little bigger and push his way back in. Benjamin and I stopped off at some friends/neighbors they had a nice little spread and visited and ate and drank with them and others and then went back on our merry way. But if there was anything spooky like decorations or music/sounds we did not go to that house. He was pretty adamant about that! He is a big wuss like his Daddy! Glad to have one more Halloween over...

Friday, October 31, 2008

Binge & Purge ~ It Feels So Good

I've been bingeing and purgeing lately ~ no, not that kind. I have been going through every photo I have in boxes, in rubbermaid containers, in old frames and purgeing. Purgeing the ones that are fuzzy that I will never use. Purgeing the ones that have people in it that I need to purge from my system ~ old boyfriends, friends that turned their back on me when I needed them most, evil people that have been part of our "family". Purgeing the ones that I know are already in two different scrapbooks and a frame. It has felt good. I think everyone could use a little binge and purge from time to time. A cleaning of sorts. I highly recommend it! Happy Purgeing!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Jinxed Myself

Joann's (my step mom in law) daughter noted on facebook last week she was home from work with a sick child. I commented I was jealous because I would love a day at home (aka away from work), even if it meant dealing with a sick child. Well, last night Hannah woke up puking, she didn't tell us though, only woke up her roommate (Emily), as she proceeded to puke in the garbage can and not come up to the bathroom. She was too lazy! So this morning, I was kind of stoked, I know, wrong, right? But I would stay home with Hannah, Dan was heading off to Helena. Well, I wasn't feeling too hot and then Emily calls she feels like she is going to puke and doesn't want to embarrass herself at school and be that middle schooler who puked at school. So I headed off to pick her up. My friend commented to me that maybe I should stop and just get Benjamin on my way back home. I didn't and he was fine! Good thing he had a play date after school with a girl! (at her house) Hopefully, the girls feel better for tomorrow night - trick or treating! They are on the mend and doing well. I am headed off to the job tomorrow ~ ugh!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I want Benjamin's life

Our little buddy has been so funny lately with his realizations. He shouts from his room the other day "ummm, somebody my hamper is really full" which I translate to someone do my laundry. Then this morning I am in the bathroom getting ready for work and he comes in the bathroom with his lunch box and says "um, Mom, I'm having cold lunch today" and shakes his lunchbox "there's no peanut butter and jelly sandwich in here" which I again translate to get your butt in gear and make me my lunch! I wish I would just say my thoughts out loud and they would magically get done! What a world that would be!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Senior Pictures

I finally got to take the kids out to take some pictures in the leaves. We headed to Missoula Alliance Pumpkin Patch first and then out to Greenough Park! Love it there! The colors weren't as vibrant and pretty as I would like but got some great shots. Hannah has decided that is where she is going to get her senior pictures taken (when in like 2017???). Benjamin then said he knew where he was going for his senior pictures, Splash Montana! Emily proceeded to tell him that "oh colleges are going to want you after they see those pictures!". Here are some of the pictures of Hannah posing. I will do a collage later of all the great pics!