Thursday, April 30, 2009

Strangers are Friends You Have Yet to Meet

I took this child gate back to Wal-mart today and some anonymous checker let us return it even though we bought it over two years ago (the return policy is three months) and I didn't have a receipt or ID with me. Anonymous checker, you are AWESOME! There was nothing wrong with the gate. We got it when Ivory was crawling and we never opened it and now that Daisy is crawling, we finally opened the thing and it wasn't what we wanted. So, happy day!

But that was hardly the best part of the trip. I had all four kids and we just wanted to return the one item. We headed over to customer service and the line was humungous. The kids were being good, as usual, so I settled in, keeping an eye on Ivory who will go as far away as possible without being out of sight, amusing the baby, and answering June's incessant chatter (Robyn is still my quiet child who stays close and doesn't make noise—bless her). June was asking random questions. She spied the lady right in front of us who was wearing cute clothes and seemed to be in her mid twenties. She asked the usual question, "What's her name?"

My children must think that I know everyone, because I hear this question all the time. People in other cars, on TV, across the street...surely I must know who they are. I tell June, "Well, since her name isn't on the back of her shirt, I don't know. But from here, I would say she looks like a Shannon, maybe."

"That's a weird name," she says.

"No, maybe her name is...(I ponder for a moment)...Emily."

At this point the lady (who is just getting off the phone) turned around wondering if I was addressing her.

"Is your name Emily?" I ask.


"I GOT IT RIGHT, (clapping and jumping) I'M AWESOME!!"

June practically cheered. What are the chances??

I am sure that Emily was freaking out just a little by now, but we quickly explained the game we were up to. Turns out she was returning two of the fourteen crock-pots she got for her wedding. We had a great conversation and it made the time pass quickly. I will probably never see her again, but she totally made my day. It is always nice to make a new friend.

Of course, then on the way home, June asked me to guess her birthday. I told her it was pointless without Emily there, but we guessed just the same. So, Emily So-and-So, any chance your birthday is October 12th?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What Do You Know...Tulips!

Some of you may recall that our experience last year with the Tulip Festival was a far cry from exquisite.

Well, this year, we got it right. I heard from some other people that the bloom rate was 85% and I knew it was time to visit. I wanted to take Tyler on a date, but I figured that telling him I wanted to see pretty flowers for $1o a pop wouldn't be too enticing for him. So I played to his manly side. We went to see the garden on Segways. That's right! Check us out.

Granted this makes the price even steeper (a segway rents for $20 an hour per person), but it was so much fun. They are surprisingly easy to use once you get the hang of it. They rely on balance; using your feet to move forward and stop. We have been playing a lot on the Wii, so we were pros within minutes. They go pretty fast too. We rode and took pictures,

and rode and took pictures,

and get the picture.

The weather was perfect and I enjoyed the company even more. It was great to feel young and in love. That is what spring time is for, right?

Back at home, our children (who sadly missed the flowers in person, but enjoyed them on the computer) were being pampered by our neighbors. The Humphries were amazing; not only did they feed our kids and take care of my fussy baby, but they brought over dessert later on in the evening. I thought people like that only exist in fairy tales. Shari and Troy, if I could, I would have picked a bunch of these and brought them home to you.

But then I don't think the gardens would invite us back.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I Have Proof

As I was taking the top off a new thing of milk the other day, I looked at the little blue plastic wrap thing and remembered that long ago, June had taken it and put it on as a necklace. I told her this story, because she LOVES stories about the family and people she knows. She looked at me skeptically and said that it wouldn't fit.
"It didn't really, but you wore it just the same." I said.

Well, folks—this here is because I like being right. Don't we all?

And she looks cute...that's worth a post.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I'm THIS many

Yep, Robyn turned 5 today. I will speak for her and say that she had a fabulous day; from start to finish.

She had school today and naturally she was in the spotlight. Well, she was actually supposed to bring in a poster about herself, but instead we brought in this.

I think the kids were down with that. I am so proud of myself for coming up with it. It is just a hat box with fun paper on the outside and then a piece of foam in the top (amazingly the foam was just the right size...what are the chances?). Anyway, I think it turned out cute.

After school, Robyn got her balloon bouquet (five balloons for five years) and I decided to mix it up with some cheetah balloons. I think she liked them.

Most of the festivities we saved for the evening.

This cake is so much more than it seems. It has several layers including cheesecake and brownie (I heard cheesecake and couldn't resist). It was too much for everyone. Well, I shouldn't say that...Ivory, my true sweet tooth, was the only one who finished her whole piece.

I love cute shots with people blowing out the candles.

I know some people just think of it as spitting on the cake, but I say, Make a wish and bring on the spit!

The presents were adored, and we even got one of those great fake astounded looks.


Finally, the evening ended in the birthday girl's chosen activity. I gave her many options and the winner was...BUILD-A-BEAR.

I had never gone before because I figured it would be overpriced. It was. At the same time, I totally loved it. We got a sitter for the other girls so Tyler and I could focus on Robyn. The people there were fantastic. The whole set-up was creative, and magical. They had her pick out a little heart for her animal and she rubbed it in her hand to warm it up. Then they had her rub it on her cheek to give it some pretty, then on her head to give it smarts, and then on her tummy for satisfaction and happiness. Robyn chose a dog instead of a bear, and 'Rainbow' even came with a baby dog she can hold in her mouth. She has a beautiful dress and a bed of her very own. I think they will have a good home.

Now my five year old is in bed, but dreams will have to wait. She is busy teaching Ivory the hokey-pokey. She plans on taking her five year old responsibilities very seriously.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Sometimes I get behind (I know this sounds impossible since I blog all the could I possibly get behind?) It does happen. And so I like to squish a few things in one post, like today. I am scrambling to get my head above water, before I sink again.

Ducklings in a row
We had some friends over recently. They were in and out of the house, but right before lunch they all came inside for a moment and there was this really weird cartoon on TV that I had never seen before. It was on PBS so I wasn't concerned, but I turned around to see all the girls lined up.

It was so cute that I had to snap a photo.

Another Rock Star party?
June went to another birthday party and came back in usual June fashion.

You might think that the theme was princess or glitter or something of the sort. was pizza party. They decorated aprons and came home with pizza dough. The glitter...? You got me. The funny thing is, she is very set on the way she does makeup (as witnessed the next day when she did her own makeup again). She puts some in her eyebrows and then some right under her eyes. I definitely think it is time for a makeup tutorial.

Robyn's birthday is tomorrow (hence some of the scrambling because I know I will want to post tomorrow) and Grandma always comes around the kids' birthdays and takes them out. Vicki was up early for Super Cross so she snagged Robyn Saturday morning for some shopping. I think Robyn had a blast. She came home with makeup...real makeup.

Grandma was very worried that I would be upset, but I didn't really care. I feel makeup at this stage is fairly harmless. They put it on and think they look amazing, and I sit there wondering if purple blush will ever be "in." As long as we can steer clear of mascara for a while, I will let them play to their hearts' content.
If you are wondering why I want to stay clear of mascara...I just don't want them poking themselves in the eye yet.

Super Cross
If you have never been to a Super Cross race, it is a blast. You don't even have to know the contestants, or how the races work. It is just plain cool to see these guys on motorbikes race around the track. There was some incredible racing with tense moments and daring passes. It was a bit chilly but it didn't rain on us—BONUS! And I got a date night with Tyler. Need I say more?
BTW, Chad Reed was totally robbed of the win. See how great I am? By the end of the evening, I even knew some of the names. Not just a pretty face, I tell you.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Mango Madness

Note to Tyler:

Do not shake a baby food jar until completely sure the lid is securely fastened.

Note to Maleen from Tyler:

Please make sure that you tighten the lid on the baby food jars when you put them in the fridge or I can not be responsible for what might happen next time.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tale of Two Blankets

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

See, she started with one...this nice soft striped blanket that Grandma gave her (I picked it out) when she was about nine months old. Then, one time we went to Idaho without it. Anyone who has a child attached to some item knows what a terrible mistake this was. I was really worried about Ivory, but Grandma had the solution. She said she had another one. Sure enough, thinking ahead, she had gone out and purchased the same blanket, with a few color adjustments. I thought we should leave it in Idaho in case we botched it again, but Grandma said we should just take it with us. she has TWO blankets.

The older blanket is much more worn considering it has a good extra year or so with Ivory, and so she appropriately named the new blanket her 'soft blanket'. That makes sense to me.

But then the older blanket received a name that I haven't quite figured out yet. She calls it her 'crabby blanket'. Why, you ask? No idea. And so she totes them here and there, her soft blanket and her crabby blanket. She sleeps with them every night and often at nap time. Here she is curled up behind her dresser (which she moved) on top of the heating vent.

She looks so peaceful. The soft blanket often doubles as a pillow, because I guess it is...softer.

Ivory is quite independent now days. She buckles her own straps in the car, she goes potty in public restrooms by herself (I know I should supervise, what with all the vileness that can be found in a public restroom, but at the same time I am so relieved not to have to juggle the baby in one hand while trying to wipe a toddler—it's not like I can put the baby on the floor!!) and she dresses herself every day. This last one leads to odd clothing combinations but ever since we had June, fashion is flexible at our house. So, Ivory comes down sporting this dashing ensemble this morning.

Nothing wrong with it, except I don't remember her having Capri pants. I thought that maybe we got them from a neighbor, but on closer inspection I find...they are Daisy's pants. Should I be surprised that my three year old can fit in 6-9 month pants? Probably not. She is a tiny girl, with no bum (she gets that from her dad). She has the sweet spot in the family. The older girls are always dressing her up so she gets to wear their stuff, and now I find out she can fit in the baby's gear. For Ivory, One Size Fits All.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Super Bark

We use the K9 web filter at our house. We have had a few problems with it, but overall, it has been a good filter. It conveniently barks at you whenever you come to a site that is inappropriate. It actually barks quite a bit at our house, and I am not really sure why. Sometimes it doesn't like the adds on people's side bars. Often I think it is barking at nothing, because it will bark at night when no one is on the computer. I try to remember to turn the sound down at night before bed, but there have been many nights when I have been awakened by a bark and have gotten up to turn it down.

Robyn even asked me the other night why it barks at night (guess it is loud enough that she hears it too).

Well, one such night, the computer barked at me, and I got up bleary-eyed and turned it down, as usual. Except, in my middle of the night stupor, I turned it the wrong way, so instead of turning it all the way down, I turned it all the way UP. I went back to bed, none the wiser.

Now, have any of you seen Bolt? Cute movie, by the way. In it, he has a super bark that destroys everything in its path. Well, that is about what happened when the K9 filter barked again that evening. I was trying to figure out what the Sam Hill had happened. Was it the train, was it thunder, an earthquake? It slowly dawned on me that I had just heard the filter bark at us at an ear-splitting decibel. Even Tyler who sleeps through everything, rolled over and said, "What was that?"

"We just got super-barked," I said. "You can go back to sleep."

Monday, April 20, 2009

Skinny Jeans

First off, when I say Skinny Jeans, let's be clear that I am not referring to the atrocious spandex-laden, ankle-hugging, Emo-enhancing fashion statement that is so popular right now. I am not a girl of the sixties, but I will prefer a little flare in my jeans until the day I die. Being completely honest, I have seen some pictures of girls in skinny jeans with cute shoes that don't look too bad; guys however, should be banned from skinny jeans. I can't think of one flattering thing about a pair of skinny jeans on a guy. As for women, since most of us are NOT models, I think the world should avoid them in general.

No, when I refer to 'skinny jeans', I mean the jeans you wear when you are skinny. Having had four children, my waistline has had its ups and downs. After each pregnancy, I dread working my way VERY slowly back to my skinny jeans. I always seem to get there eventually, but there are times that it seems impossible. Daisy is nine months now and I am just seeing light at the end of the tunnel thanks to Wii Fit. This last weekend, I pulled out my size 1/2 pants and they fit... finally. Then I looked at them again and thought, Why in the world was I buying a size 1/2? Even if that was the size of my waist, I am sure that a 3/4 would have fit just as well. And hello, then I don't have to wait a millenium to get back into my pants. Pride back then is causing me despair now.

Side note here. I can almost here you saying, I have ever fit in a 1/2, EVER!! (You know you are saying this Stacy K.) But let's remember that jean sizes vary, and I am pretty sure that these are about the same size as a regular 7/8 (I think companies change the labels just to make you feel better). Add on to that the fact that I am 5' 2" and that I am graced with no chest whatsoever (I barely fit in a B cup), so we each have our different body challenges.

So, no matter how skinny I get this time around, I should probably take into account my future self and the post-pregnancy battle. I think I should buy all my jeans a bit large. After all, why do you think they invented a belt, anyway?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Dear Diary

I finally printed my blog, and only the first year at that. However, I was testing to see if I liked the site I went through, and the overall answer is a resounding YES!

I used Blog2print. Tyler found it for me because we were having some troubles with Blurb.


It is the easiest thing ever. Blurb needs way more user interaction putting things in and moving things around and choosing layouts. For me who has quite the extensive blog, this gets tedious. At Blog2print, it really just rips the whole thing and tosses it in there for you. You can then change things around if you want, but they do a good job to begin with.

They have a place at the end for your comments. I didn't see this option at Blurb.

I think it is a little more cost efficient (still pricey though if you are as wordy as me).

They don't waste space. When one entry stops the next one starts right up so you don't have a lot of white space at the end of pages.

I'm published BABY!!!


You can't choose a whole photo for the front; you only have a small spot to put a picture. I like the red though, it stands out (and you can choose from several colors and a few designs).

The table of contents is useless. It says two things: Dedication page—1 and then Life Savers—4. It doesn't label the posts individually, which is what I would like. I need to play around with this and see if I can change it.

The pictures are not as big as I would like, but there is actually an option to make the pictures bigger. I chose to keep them the same, or I would have WAY too many pages. So this isn't such a bad con.

The pictures are all on the side; not interspersed with the text. I think this is because I don't use any formatting when I put pictures in, so I don't really know how it would look if you use right or left, etc. However, it isn't bad that they are on the left side; you just have to look over while you are reading.

I am sure that I have forgotten something, so if you have a question about one or the other, just ask. I will be happy to give you whatever information I have. I am off to get my other books printing. It is such a relief to finally have a hard copy that my family can read and keep. Life Savers is now an official journal. And here I thought that I would never be able to keep a journal for a year, and I am going on two.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Few Beautiful Things I Saw Today

I woke up to a beautiful sight. Everything was coated in white. It was amazing.

Too bad it sucked; it being April and all. Whatever, it's Utah...need I say more?

So we went and did something indoors. We got pictures taken. Daisy needed a sitting up shot, although I am a little late, because she also stands now with some assistance.

Robyn's birthday is rapidly approaching so we snuck her 5 year old picture in early.

I like both of these, but this may be the last time I use Kiddie Kandids. Then again, you can't beat the FREE birthday photos, so I probably just told a lie.

They are both cuties though. And it did warm my heart that Daisy wouldn't really smile for the camera lady, but whenever she looked at me, she would beam. Hey, those are the perks of motherhood, right?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Calgon Take Me Away

Ridiculous amounts of snow AND tax day. What did we do to deserve this?

And therefore I will bring back sweet memories of Easter. Okay, I am really behind, so bear with me as we revisit last weekend.

I had a great idea to do our Easter egg hunt Friday night since it seemed that Saturday was going to be a little drippy. The girls went to a birthday party and that gave my mom and me time to hide the eggs. Our backyard is getting a little small for five people to go hunting, so I had the brilliant idea to go hide them around the church. I hope this isn't against any church rules. I think it worked rather well. There is enough perimeter that everyone could search independently and I figured if we missed any eggs, some churchgoer was bound to find them later.

Our three oldest went hunting, but we sent Tim and my Dad in as well.

My Dad is still a kid at heart and we needed someone to find all the hard ones, right? Everyone did a great job. Ivory would get so excited to show us each thing she found...we had to keep reminding her to go find some more.

Here is June searching with a jaw-breaker in her mouth. Classic June, down to the mussed hair.

This year, I added some camouflage eggs.

They were awesome; really hard to spot. I put dollar bills in them, and one had a five dollar bill. When everyone was done hunting, I assembled the troops and told them that we needed to make sure that we had all 8 camouflage eggs (I don't mind leaving candy for other people to find, but we better get all the money). Everyone searched their buckets and in all, they had only found 3! (June found two, and Dad found one). I (who had hid them) scanned the area and led individual hunters to certain spots. In the end, everyone had at least one camouflage egg. Ivory was our big winner; she found the five.

My Dad said he could get on board with Easter Eggs filled with money. He found several with coins and went away with over 5 dollars himself.

After we found 'all' the eggs, I gave each of the girls their Easter dress. Look at them dutifully closing their eyes, waiting. Cute.

I say 'all' the eggs, because when we got home, I didn't see all the eggs. I didn't count them, but we did get some fun sea eggs and they weren't all there. My mom and dad went back and found 8 more; some in very obvious places. This doesn't surprise me too much. Sometimes you miss something right in front of your face. Take this picture for instance. Can you find the egg? Click on it to make it larger.

In that picture, we were talking about the camouflage eggs and everyone had been by that spot several times and no one saw that silly egg up on the wall. Robyn finally spotted it. Smarty.

I'm hoping all the fun we had that night made up for the fact that I totally spaced what time the Vineyard Hunt was the next morning. I thought it was at nine previous years, but I looked online and it said ten o'clock. So we showed up late and I took home sad girls with empty buckets. So future year when you can't remember, look back, read this post, and think NINE, NINE, NINE!!!

And there you have it. Now I will go back to cursing the blasted snow. Come on, it's April! AND Spring break. Maybe tomorrow we will go to the library. That is indoors.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Chez Cazier

I don't change my background very often, but in light of finishing my final project in my Photography class, I figured I would do an overhaul. The banner is actually a picture of the finished product because I matted it before I had time to scan the pictures in. I plan to frame it soon and display it proudly.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I Had Lunch With Obama

This year's Crack-Off was eggceptional. My parent's were visiting again and I love that they really get into the decorating part. They are both very talented when it comes to art. I realize that this will end up being a post with mostly pictures, but you need to see some of these.

Okay, are you all eggcited? Here they are in no particular order.

Here is Tyler's Greenback.

I love these two. Sally and Jack, but the best part is on the back of Jack's head.

Here's my mother's Under the Sea egg. The color is great and if you moved it all around there was a whale and a mermaid on it too.

My Dad named this one Brainiegg. I think it took third place in the deco contest.

These two are great. The Rose Garden on the left took second place overall.

I thought this was clever. I entitled it Bella's Dream (you know—a vampire bite). My mom told me later that she thought they were eyes. Oops; most people got it though.

Here is Tyler's Orange egg and my mom's stained glass egg.

Here is some of the competition brought in. The Macbean's didn't know about the crack off rules. Needless to say, no one wanted to roll against Sputnik.

I wasn't sure if this one could roll, but it looked cool. Eggo-Jet.

Tim did well this year. He feels pressure with all the artists in the family, but I liked this one called 'When Eggs go Bad"

This was my pride and joy. It was the first one I made and I knew it would do well in the deco contest; it won in fact. Ba'Crack' Obama.

I even put a target on the back of his head; merely for crack-off purposes...of course.

Here are a few others. I liked how Cindy used spices on her eggs. And the silver one is just cool.

Here is the grouping as we voted on them. I'm sorry if your eggs were not pictured. I think I took all these before the Moses showed up. Oh, that pink one in the front is Randy's caterpillar. Creative, huh?

Then we got down to business and the eggs were cracking everywhere.
Obama faired well, but was eventually taken out by Orien's Belt.

Here is Fungus Amungus vs. Orien's Belt in the final showdown.

And the winner is...

Orien's Belt. Good job Bryan. We always need a returning champion, so don't go far.

After all that, we actually tried rolling Orien's Belt against Sputnik. Orien's Belt creamed it, I kid you not. It knocked one of the bullets off and then cracked it the second time around.

We really had a great evening.

So today, I found out that underneath that brown exterior, Obama really is white. And then I ate him. Dairy-free egg salad is passable. Just make sure you add pickles, mustard, and a little president.