Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Nursery Rhyme

Three Little Witches

Three little witches

Had me in stitches

And they said, Oh so sweet

“Halloween’s near

We greatly Fear

We won’t know what to say”

What! You silly witches

Go gather your riches

And just say Trick or Treat

Cackle, Cackle, Cackle

Yes, just say Trick or Treat

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Monster Mash

Last night we went to a great FHE/party at the Scoresby's. We had such a good time. I am always so impressed when people can organize and contain a large gathering of people. I tend to invite a few people at a time, but Keri knows how to mass a crowd and still have a good time. Unfortunately, she can't invite the whole ward because her yard is only so big, so I think I may put a plug in for her to be called as the activity director (don't hate me Ker--you know you would be good at it).
She had a lot of help and everyone was involved bringing goodies or planning games. Our family got to help with the Cake Walk or in this case, the Cupcake Walk. I think the kids had a good time jumping from picture to picture and collecting fancy decorated cupcakes (Robyn helped me put sprinkles and spiders on them). My favorite pastime by far is the donut eating competition. I still have what it takes (Amanda rues the day she challenged me). And I didn't do too badly at musical chairs either. I methodically take out people by slipping into their chairs from behind. They never see it coming. Of course, I felt bad ousting the bishop while he was holding his son. I think we called it a draw and we both stepped out.
The food was delicious and there was a fun fish pond for the kids to pick up some prizes. Everyone decorated pumpkins and received awards. I only have pictures of our pumpkins that we took from before because I forgot to take my camera that night. But Keri will have pictures up soon.
These glowing beauties are from Dad and June. June's was supposed to be the Batman symbol, but everyone thought it was teeth. June won the scariest pumpkin award. We only entered hers and mine by the way.

I did a space theme this year. My pumpkin is a flying saucer in honor of my Dad who gave me a love of all things science fiction. He may have showed me too many scary movies when I was growing up but I really love them now. (Happy Birthday today, Daddy!). Oh, and I won most creative pumpkin.

And then Robyn did a bat. These foam things are super easy for younger kids to help with and they turn out really cute. They were a bit pricey though. I got this one at Roberts on sale, but I wouldn't have bought it at full price.

This year we also saved our seeds and toasted them. They were so yummy. I should share my favorite recipe site, because I can always find what I need and there are reviews so I can see how it turned out for other people. Click here to find my secret to cooking anything. We just put in Pumpkin seeds and got a whole bunch of recipes to choose from. This year we did a sugar and spice mix. Yum! Oh, and by the way. Don't leave pumpkin guts around to spoil. Not that I would do this. But if you get really busy and forget they are in a bowl on your counter, they may start to decay in such an unpleasant I've heard.
That is pretty much it. It was a blast (the whole party). I love to get my kids involved in Holiday festivities. Now, on to Halloween. See you there.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Dishwasher Woes

Things I learned today...

1. The dishwasher does not work right when you put the bottom rack in backwards (even though it fits perfectly).
2. Tyler knows where our dishwasher manual is and he will actually read it to solve a problem instead of taking the dishwasher apart piece by piece.
3. I would be lost without him.

Without Tyler I might have...
a. Bought a new dishwasher (heaven forbid I get that drastic, but the thought did run through my mind that maybe it was time for a new one).
b. Been really embarrassed when the repairman came over and simply turned the bottom rack around the proper way (seriously, it shouldn't fit if it is backwards).
c. Turned it around myself, but kept wondering why the dishwasher wasn't working for those few days and always be waiting for it to stop working again. (I did notice the rack was in the wrong way, I just didn't connect that it had anything to do with the problem)

The story does have a happy ending. Tyler (who was the one who put it in backwards by the way) simply switched it around and voila, my dishwasher works again. Such a simple thing can cause such an alteration. It makes me think that sometimes in life we just get turned around. It seems to fit, but if we just read our instruction manual again, we can put things back like they are supposed to be, and it can make all the difference.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I'm feeling BLUE

You Are a Blue Crayon

Your world is colored in calm, understated, deep colors.
You are a loyal person, and the truest friend anyone could hope to find.
On the inside, you tend to be emotional and even a bit moody.
However, you know that people depend on you. So you put on a strong front.

Your color wheel opposite is orange. Orange people may be opinionated, but you feel they lack the depth to truly understand what they're saying.
What Color Crayon Are You?

Hmm, who knew? Check out and see what you are. I would be interested to know.

My Turn At School

It is finally June's turn for school. I feel she has had to wait so long because not only does her birthday fall in September so she didn't get to go to Kindergarten this year, but the Pre-school she is going to now didn't start until this week. So all the kids her age have been in school for ages (well, a month and a half, but that must seem like ages to June). I am really impressed with the program and I think June is going to have so much fun. They have a field trip every month and they look so exciting, I am pretty sure I will be volunteering for all of them. They even get to go to Build-a-Bear (yay!).

I love how creative she is and how nothing she wears ever matches. Maybe wearing stripes and plaids will be in someday. In the meantime, it is perfect for her.

This is her cute bag. I printed her name and the unicorn but then she colored the sky and the rainbow. Of course she forgot her bag the first day, but I don't even think she noticed (she was having too much fun).

It makes me think of that book, My Turn on Earth. I read it when I was little and loved it. I'm so glad it is June's turn now. By the way, that book is now selling for $45 on Amazon. I must not be the only one who liked it.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Devil's Food Sandwich Cookies

Devil’s Food Sandwich Cookies

18 ¼ oz. pkg. Devil’s Food Cake Mix

¾ c. shortening

2 eggs

8 oz. package cream cheese, softened

½ c. margarine, softened

½ t. almond extract

16 oz. pkg. powdered sugar

Combine cake mix, shortening and eggs. Form into small balls and flatten slightly on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. In medium bowl, blend cream cheese, margarine and almond extract. Gradually blend in powdered sugar until desired consistency. Beat with a spoon ‘til smooth; refrigerate. When cookies are cool, spread filling between 2 cookies; repeat. Keep refrigerated. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

These are pretty tasty. The cookie dough will give you a workout. There isn't much liquid in it and you really have to stir. I guess if you had a mixer, that would work too, but I recommend doing it the old fashioned way and work off some calories early (don't worry, you'll get them all back). I made these twice and the first time I made the balls into what I thought were 'small balls,' but the cookies baked to regular size. The next time I really made them small and they were perfect and the dough went a lot farther (it made almost 50 cookies that way compared to 22 the first time). It takes a little extra effort to put the filling in these cookies, but they sure are yummy. Maybe I didn't put enough filling in since I had a lot left over. Still trying to think of something to do with the extra filling. Maybe it could double as a glaze or frosting on cupcakes? Happy baking.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Instant Gratification?...Hardly

There are so many different hobbies in the world and what is fun and relaxing for one is a tedious chore for another. For instance, I can't do crosswords. They drive me crazy.
One of my favorite hobbies would surely make some people cross-eyed themselves. I love to crosstitch. To me, it is easy and relaxing. I like to sit and watch a movie and my hands find a natural groove. It is one of the few hobbies of my childhood that I held onto.
I was always interested in one thing after another and my poor mother was always buying me supplies for another activity that I would never take seriously. I remember she bought me stamp books and candle making supplies (although I wish I could find the candle stuff now). But crosstitching was one hobby I never let go of (thanks for being patient mom). And you have to be serious, because there is no instant gratification. If you choose a large project it could literally take years to finish while working on it in your spare time (which mothers have so much of). I spent nine years working on a large crosstitch while I went through college and my early married years.
I'm proud to say this last project went faster than expected. It took me maybe a year and a half. But oh the joy for me when I finally complete a masterpiece. Well, masterpiece is a little exaggerated, but I am fairly proud of this endeavor.

Framing makes a finished product and I was very happy with how it turned out. You are all welcome to stop by and see the end result. It is much prettier in person (if I do say so myself).
Well, back to the drawing board. Look for more beautiful art in another few years.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Land o' Pumpkins

We finally made it to PumpkinLand. I like how they have so much variety for the kids. This was the first year that we attempted the corn maze (the kids have really been too young before). The girls really enjoyed it and they dashed from one corner to the next. June wanted to read every sign and Robyn kept telling me how spooky it was.

I am just happy that it isn't a huge maze. I honestly think I could get lost for hours in those large corn mazes. My sense of direction isn't so bad if I can walk in a straight line, but when I am forced to twist and turn , I quickly become disoriented. Luckily, at Pumpkinland, I usually find myself coming out of the maze by accident, when I planned to stay longer.

I saw some pretty cute ghosties while I was there.

The girls had great fun on the slides and running around the play areas. We stopped in briefly at the light alley, but they wanted to go back to the big toy. Ivory loves slides now too, so they could spend all day there. Robyn was crushed when we had to leave. It hardly consoled her that we were going to pick out pumpkins. Everyone got to pick their very own (stay tuned for excellently decorated squash in future episodes).
Even in the midst of all this Halloween splendor, I still found something that made me think of Christmas...

...why it's the Holly and the Ivory of course.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Cold Weather...Yum!

I can't say that I am thrilled about it snowing today. It seems natural for it to get colder in October, but not THAT cold. I told my nephew on the phone today that it isn't so much the cold that is annoying, but the lack of preparation in the middle of October. If I thought it was going to snow, I would have my winter coat on, but instead, I am caught out in the nasty weather wearing merely a long-sleeved shirt (hardly winter attire). I just need to remember that this is Utah. I should expect snow at anytime, even in June (yes, we have seen snow in the summer).
But the onslaught of cold weather does bring one of my favorite pastimes with it--drinking hot chocolate. And how is this for shameless product placement. I really like Stephen's Hot Chocolate. I love that it comes in so many different flavors. I may never drink regular hot chocolate again. Our family favorite at the moment is Irish Cream, but who knows, it is just the beginning of the season. Happy cold weather to you.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Punch In The Nose

This week we pulled a punch from our treat jar. It is really a recipe for Citrus Mimosa but we obviously opted for the non-alcoholic version. So we just call it Punch in the Nose. Here is the recipe.

1 c. prepared strawberry daiquiri mix

6 oz. cold water

6-oz can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

¾ c. fresh grapefruit juice

1/3 c. frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

3 T. frozen limeade concentrate, thawed

1 bottle seltzer (carbonated water)

Combine prepared daiquiri mix, water, orange juice concentrate, grapefruit juice, lemonade and limeade concentrates in a pitcher or a bowl. Stir ‘til well combined. Cover and chill. To serve, pour an equal amount of the chilled juice mixture and the seltzer into 8 glasses. Garnish with orange rind curls. Makes 8 six-ounce servings.

It was pretty good punch I guess. I still think I like your basic sherbet and sprite mix more, but it was fun to try something new. You need to like fruit juices though, because you are making something very fruity to begin with and then you may notice that since you only use 1/3 cup of the frozen lemonade, you still have half a can left over. And they don't sell grapefruit juice by the cup, so your kids will have plenty of fruity choices for breakfast the rest of the week.
Other than that, it is a fairly strong punch. My tongue always tingles with citrus things and I got quite a feeling out of this one. Regardless of the name though, your nose should be just fine, unless someone happens to tell a funny joke while you are drinking.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Just a regular day. I was getting the kids all ready to go to Music Makers when I opened the car to find this...

Tyler had been busy. He filled my car with balloons. The girls loved it and they jumped in amongst the balloons while scraping them off the car seats so they could sit down. I found a balloon on my seat that said each balloon had a message inside, a reason that Tyler loved me. I momentarily panicked. Balloons were falling out of the car and it was rather windy outside. "Don't lose any of those balloons," I told the kids.
When Tyler came home for lunch, the girls helped me pop them while I read all the reasons Tyler loves me. They were quite good at the popping part. Even Ivory could sit down with a toothpick and pop them all by herself.

In the end, I had a list of 101 reasons Tyler loves me. He is the sweetest. I married the best guy in the world. I have hundreds of reasons why I love him, I really should write them down someday. But one of them is that he makes me feel loved and this is almost 8 years after we decided to tie the knot. The flame is still burning bright.

Here are my 10 favorite reasons (from the balloons) that Tyler loves me:

  1. You’re smart about pediatric stuff. Left under my supervision, I’m quite certain our children would have a thicker file at the hospital.
  2. You let me answer the phone, even though I know it will be for you.
  3. You chose chores with dice.
  4. You’ve never yelled, “You! You did this to me!” while shaking your finger at me in the middle of a contraction in the delivery room.
  5. You have given me the premium real estate on the towel rack.
  6. Your sweet tooth is as sweet as mine.
  7. You let me sleep on whichever side of the bed I want. You manage to sleep on 8 inches of a Queen-sized bed, while I sprawl & flail all over the place.
  8. You’re not afraid of jumping spiders.
  9. You're amazingly beautiful when you're asleep. You seem very peaceful. You must be dreaming about your Ragin' Stallion.
  10. You’re wittier than everybody else I know.
It makes a difference when you do something fun and surprising for the one you love. I encourage you to do something heartfelt for your special someone soon. I know I will.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I want to ride my bicycle...

I want to ride my bike. Ha ha, it makes me think of the Queen song.
When the summer started, I told Tyler that the only thing I really wanted was a bike. Well, 21 days after summer ended, I got it. Truthfully, I had given up and I was going to make another request next summer, so I was thrilled when we went to the store and Tyler said, "Let's go over and get you a bike." He may be hesitant because I have a history of injuring myself on such devices. Oh to be graceful. Instead, I suffer from short legs and I fall much more often than I would like. My knees are riddled with scars from my childhood biking days. Probably against his better judgment Tyler took me out and immediately started teaching me to jump the curb. It wasn't pretty but there was no blood...yet. But this leads towards fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine. I have always imagined my whole family out for a day on our bikes. On Sunday Tyler held Ivory while Robyn and June rode along beside us. It was a piece of heaven for me.

So if you see a purple blur going by your house, it is probably not me. I still ride rather cautiously.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ready Or Not

We got June's hair cut. It is her first 'official' cut.

It wasn't so bad for me (the mom), since I chopped her curls off after she turned three. That was a sad time for me, since I really felt that she had wavy hair, when in actuality it was just her baby curls at the bottom. After they were gone, her long straight hair was beautiful but it tangled very easily. I was ready for it to be shorter, but I wanted June to feel like it was her choice. And eventually she asked enough times for a hair cut that I knew she was ready. I love it and I think June is pleased as well. I didn't go too drastic because I think she will like being able to pull it back into a pony tail still, but it is different enough that she notices. Just another step on her road to growing up.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Treat Jar

I am always looking for new traditions to do with my family. You might call me a tradition addict, or freak. Who knows.
I ordered a Christmas book from Gooseberry patch filled with fun craft ideas and recipes. I realized that I love to make something new to try during the holidays (well, anytime really). So we all looked through and choose a few recipes we thought sounded good. We put them all in a jar and we are going to take out one a week through Christmas and decide if they are worth keeping.

I'll post the recipe and let you know how it turns out. I apologize in advance to all my health conscious readers. These are not diet recipes. They come straight from the cookbook to you, meaning all the good sugar and fat is left in there. I figure I should make these now, while I can eat what I like (knock on wood).
This week was Bar Harbor Cranberry Pie. Here's the recipe:

Bar Harbor Cranberry Pie

Frozen berries can also be used…no need to thaw before preparing this pretty pie.

2 c. cranberries

1 ½ c. sugar, divided

½ c. chopped pecans

2 eggs, beaten

1 c. all-purpose flour

½ c. butter, melted

¼ c. shortening, melted

Garnish: whipped cream and cinnamon (optional)

Lightly butter a 9” glass pie plate; spread cranberries over bottom. Sprinkle evenly with ½ cup sugar and pecans; set aside. In a separate bowl, add eggs and remaining one cup sugar; mix well. Blend in flour, butter and shortening; beat well after each addition. Pour over cranberries; bake at 325 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes. Garnish each serving with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon, if desired. Serves 8.

It was really tasty. Cranberries are tart and even with the sugar it was still zippy. We served it with ice cream and even my non-fruit eater enjoyed it. The crust wasn't like pie crust, you just pour it on top. Super easy, and it felt very festive. I might make this for Thanksgiving.

Monday, October 8, 2007

General Conference

General Conference--what a great time of year!

I really look forward to being spiritually enriched and getting some crosstitching in. I like to crosstitch while listening because it keeps my hands busy and I don't fall asleep. Not that conference is boring, but a busy mom can't sit still for two hours and not have her body succumb to lack of sleep and general drowsiness. We had the Smiley's over for breakfast Saturday morning to watch the first session with us. Ivory was very cute as during the session she crawled up into Shalom's lap and camped there for about twenty minutes. Apparently, she felt right at home.
I really enjoyed all the speakers this session. Dallin H. Oaks amazed me as always. I was super excited that Henry B. Eyring was called into the Presidency, I am excited to get to know Quentin L. Cook and I just love our Prophet with all my heart. I was very touched as he bore testimony of the Book of Mormon again. I always tell myself that I am going to read every conference talk again when the Ensign comes out but somehow when six months roll around, I am lucky to have read half of them. So I am challenging myself online. I will be putting a reading schedule on my side bar in November and you are welcome to follow along for six months as I read the talks again. I hope you all enjoyed General Conference.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


I have been attending a Literacy class with many of the sisters in my ward. KBYU puts it on and funds the whole project. They teach moms about reading to children and using the programs on KBYU effectively. They bring free books and cassettes and I think it is very useful. I am a huge advocate of reading already. I don't know if I spend the exact twenty minutes a day with each child, but I probably come close. We usually have a bed time story before bed and June and I read chapter books together. We recently finished Ella Enchanted which was a bit above her level, but I really enjoyed it as I had never read it before. For the record it is much better than the movie (actually the only thing the movie and the book have in common is the Title and Ella's curse of obedience). Anyway, I truly believe in reading to children. Go to the library, check out books, borrow some from me, buy a new one for each holiday. Do what you can, it is so important for kids. And don't forget Dads. I always think it is super cute when Dads read to their kids. Check out this hunk reading to my girlies. I love how Ivory is reading over his shoulder.

The Culprit

So we had a bit of a mystery at our house this evening. We were doing Satin Feet on the kids. We call it 'Magic Feet' and each of the products are potions we use on them. The girls like the waxy stuff and the lotion the most but the gritty, sandy stuff makes them giggle, especially on their feet. Robyn had to take a brief potty break and I was helping her wipe and the tissue came back to me green. Now mothers are quite aware of all the shades poop can be, but this was not one of them. It was GREEN green, like food dye. We asked Robyn about all the many things that she might have ingested recently. She just smiled and said 'No' to each query. Tyler finally asked (for lack of other ideas), "Did you put marker on your bum?" This resulted in a launch of giggling and a '"yes." We parents just looked back and forth at each other and Tyler said, "Where is the marker now?" Robyn was kind enough to locate the marker and we had a little talk about what not to put on our bodies and where not to put it. Robyn probably found the right marker, but to be on the safe side, I don't think I will be using any green markers in my house any time soon. Here is the suspect.

I was determined that we had found the perpetrator, but upon talking to some people I found the true culprit. Here it is.

This is a black frosted cupcake from Jimmy Betham's birthday party. It was hilarious to see the kids running around with black tongues and faces. Robyn looked like she had a goatee for a while. I had no idea that the dye would come out so vividly and green. In the end, I asked Robyn, "You didn't put a marker on your bum, did you?" She just giggled in her Robyn way and said, "No." I think I am in for a long life of practical jokes on Mom, but at least I can use my markers again.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Walk a Mile in My Shoes

Kari took me shopping since she has an upcoming wedding to attend. We went with her friend Martha who is so much fun. It is nice to meet someone that is easy to talk to right away. We tried going to TJ Maxx first. Sorry, that is not the place to look for dresses. It was so frustrating, and we quickly ditched that and went to the Mall. We didn't get far before we stopped at the Dressbarn and I was very impressed with their selection. As Martha and I finally decided, it is a store that you and your Grandma could shop at. They have plenty of fashions for the older generation, but plenty of hip stuff that suits me just fine. Kari found an outfit that makes her look stunning (if I do say so myself, but I'm sure I won't be the only one). I wasn't looking, but I found a pair of brown pointy-toe pumps that were only $10. I have to admit that I have never owned a pair of pointy shoes before-they seem to look better on the Jamee Adam's of the world. But they were so fun that I couldn't resist.
We hopped over to Forever Young, a shoe store in the Mall, and I also recommend this store for people who are getting tired of the lack of selection at Payless. The shoes aren't overpriced, and they have plenty of catchy styles. I chose a pair of olive shoes because I think I am tired of brown. And yes, I finally opted for no heel. I usually choose a huge heel to boost my height, but gone are my days of pretending. So when you see me and I look shorter than usual, you have found the real me. Come on short people of the world, let's glory in our height. After all, short people can...well, it's easier to...I mean, aren't you glad that we can....well I guess we are closer to the ground. Maybe it hurts us less to fall.
Anyway, Kari found some striking red pumps (super cute) and that gave me my shoes at half price. So I found a steal of a deal. If anyone wants to come shopping with us next time, let me know. We want to make it a monthly thing. Maybe we'll do Christmas shopping next month.
June told me in the end that she liked both my shoes, especially the brown ones. She liked the others because they were green, even though they were 'boys' shoes. Oh June, I love you.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Happy Birthday June!!

Wow, this weekend was a whirlwind of activity as our oldest turned 5. She had such a good time. She insisted that she wanted a Chuck E. Cheese party even though she had never been there before. She was only allowed to invite 5 friends on a Chuck E. Cheese budget, so it was a tough decision for her. I think her party was a great success. The children ran around playing games and using tokens. It was interesting to see the difference in strategy. The older kids knew all about the tickets and prizes and they spent much of the time playing the games. June, Robyn and some of the other kids enjoyed the rides and playing on the slides more. They are very organized there and they brought pizza at the right time and the kids loved dancing and singing with Chuck E. Cheese. They provide a cake and some gifts for the birthday child. As a parent, it was pretty low-key. All I had to do was watch children and count heads over and over. They had a really good time and I think we may be back next year for Robyn's birthday.

June giving Chuck E. Cheese a hug

It took her few tries to blow out the candles

Afterwards, we took her quickly to get her birthday balloon. We have a tradition that the birthday child can choose any balloon at Zurchers (even the huge ones on the wall). Last year Robyn chose a huge pink pig. It was bigger than she was. This year June got a Welcome Baby balloon. I guess she liked the heart and polka dots because I couldn't talk her into anything else.

We whisked her home and Grandma was waiting for her (having driven down through a blizzard that morning.) Grandma Cazier (Ty's Mom) always takes the kids out for their birthday and spoils them just a bit. But I don't mind too much since she doesn't see them often enough. She took June out for the rest of the evening and I think they had a blast. June is a born shopper (she may get that from me). I am so sorry that I did not get any pictures of June with Grandma. I got home late from the Relief Society Broadcast and it was so fun to relax and watch June show off all her fun stuff and listen to Grandma talk about their evening. So you have to imagine June with many outfits, a new scooter and plenty of smiles on her face.

But it didn't end there. Her real birthday was Sunday and so we busted out with family presents and another cake. I like making one, and everyone should have cake on their birthday. Plus it was worth it watching her blow the candles out. I think she blew eleven times.

June got Princess Crayons from Ivory (or from Mom's trip to Disneyland)

June got new scriptures. We are excited to mark passages with her.

June's cake, talk about sugar...

Happy Birthday my big girl! These five years have been so fun. You are so smart and learn new things everyday. Don't grow up too quickly. Here are some pictures of her birthdays through the years.