Thursday, August 30, 2012

I've Been Attending Since 2012

Recognize this guy?

I got to spend some time in his shadow this week. Vicki (my MIL) and I stole away on a quiet Tuesday and had a rip-roaring day. We went to the Shakespeare Festival. Many of you have probably already discovered this delightful event. I mistakenly always thought it only lasted for a few weeks, and every year I figured I missed it. But when I learned it ran July-August, I figured I had just enough time to plan a short getaway, and I picked just the right partner. Vicki was so fun to hang out with. You will see that she is very kind to let me photograph her a LOT. When you only have two people, and one has the camera, you know the other one is in for it. :)

We left in the morning, and our drive down went very quickly. We stopped once for snacks, and we found this random petting zoo next door to the gas station. The llama tried to warn the zebra.

But he seemed content to pose.

They had other animals like sheep and deer, but I grabbed one more shot of the Emu, and we were on our way. (That's one more for exotic bird bingo. I'm loving this.)

We checked into our hotel with plenty of time to explore. We stayed at the Abbey Inn. It seemed like a very nice place to stay, but I have no other comparisons.

Then we went around the area to make sure we knew where we were headed for our first play. There are actually statues all over the city (which I realized later) but we found this lovely monument dedicated to the greats. I was ashamed that I didn't recognize everyone. I need to find out more about Germaine De Stael. After reading her plaque, she seems amazing.

It was a beautiful place.

We grabbed a passing student and asked her to snap a picture. It's a little off center, but I am sure she was flustered by our intimidating knowledgeable poses. (I think that is Aristotle who joined us.)

Grandma loved on Einstein for a moment.

And then we were off to find the theatres. There are two. One is indoor, and the other is an outdoor theatre. I loved the look of everything. It was picturesque and perfect.

I could just picture Juliet leaning over the balcony.

We didn't watch any shows at the outdoor theatre, but you could imagine how great it would be.

I should have put Vicki up on stage. Instead I caught her dreaming dreams of grandeur. (Okay, she was probably just looking, but one can picture it.)

The venues hadn't opened yet, but later that evening they walked around in costume selling tarts. (The pastries, not the women.)

The gift shop was fun to explore. (I'll have to take pictures of the masks I got the girls later.) Later Vicki cuddled up with Shakespeare. (See? I told you she was a great sport the whole time.)

We grabbed some lunch at the Pastry Pub. (I think it is famous in its own right.) And then we were off to see Les Mis.

Go see pictures HERE.

It was fabulous. I wouldn't say this was the best cast of singers I have ever heard, but they sang with more emotion than any other production I have seen. I cried multiple times. It was so good.

After the show, we decided we should eat again, but we weren't really hungry for a full meal. Luckily for us, we stumbled across this spectacular bakery:

This will be a part of every trip down to Cedar City now. It was so delicious. Very authentic food created by a chef from France. He just opened this candy store/bakery a few months ago, and I hope he stays there FOREVER.

We got a Pain Perdu, and a slice of cheesecake. The Pain Perdu is one of the most delightful things I have ever eaten. I got this picture after we devoured most of it.

I was full somewhere along the way, but I finished the cheesecake anyway, because it would be a crime to let good cheesecake go in the trash.Thank you Boulangerie Marie.

And then we were off to see our other play, Scapin. We stopped in the parking lot and had another hapless soul take a picture. She was much better at centering us. I look horrible, but that may be because I am very full of dessert and half my makeup was cried off earlier in the day.

In the evening before the main performances, they have something called the Greenshow. It is outside on a smaller stage and many of the actors performing that day will come and do another small production. I think it is different some nights, but I don't know that for sure. I should have brought my camera, but I had left it in the car at this point. (boo.) This is where people came around selling tarts, but my stomach was not going to have that. Instead we lounged on the lawn and enjoyed singing, dancing, juggling, an 'egg' dance, and some pretty bad Romanian accents. :) Sorry Vicki, you missed the egg dance when you went to wash your hands. (She had a strange reaction to the grass.)

Scapin was just the ticket for the evening. We laughed a ton. The plot was not in depth, but it was made simply to poke fun and make you giggle.

See pictures HERE.

And then our evening was over. It was just so much fun. I will find a way to come back every year, for sure. We want to try and hit four plays next time.

In the morning, we had breakfast at our motel. Yum. And we grabbed one more photo. I balanced the camera next to the wafflemaker and set the timer. Not too bad for a last impromptu shot. Not centered of course, but that was kind of the theme of the trip.

Love Vicki. Love the Shakespeare Festival. Love husbands who watch kids in the middle of the week. Love laughing and crying. Love it all.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

It's a Zoo!

While Tim visited, we had field trip day. I had something planned, but then I figured I could take him to the zoo for FREE! That is the great thing about a membership, and you might as well get your use out of it.

It was hot and I didn't bring any snacks, (shame on me) but everyone was very good.

We hit a few favorites at the beginning. You gotta drink from the lion.

And get sprayed by the elephant.

Of course, the elephant fell asleep. We could hear him snoring. The girls almost lost interest, but then he suddenly woke up.

We saw some of the amazing animals like the Polar Bear and Tiger. (Does it look like some kid is giving the Polar Bear the peace sign?)

I should mention that the crocodile was still in the EXACT SAME POSITION as the last two times we saw him. I would think he is stuffed, except the dead rat comes and goes, so maybe he does get up to eat every once in a while.

We also saw the seal show down at Rocky Shores. That was pretty neat.

Oh, and June kept requesting that I take a picture of the peacock. Behold, a peacock.

I wanted to take Tim to the bird show, so we got in line early and I caved into buying some snacks. I actually gave kids the choice of a snack or a ride on the carousel. Daisy was the only one who wanted to ride. Here she is on the dolphin.

She looks a little worried because I stepped away to take a picture but she thought the ride would start without me holding her. When we got off the ride, I asked if she had fun.

She said, "Yes, now can I get something to eat?" (Ouch. Obviously not quite understanding the deal, but she and I were brave and didn't have snacks together.)

The bird show was fun, and I decided that I would get to hold a bird this time around. If Sarah could do it, then so could I. I had my fiver ready, and we randomly sat in the same section she was in previously. (Who knows if that helps the bird if he goes in the same direction each time.) We played games to pass the time until it started.

Then, later in the show, when they asked for volunteers...sure enough: they picked me. I should have asked Tim to hold the camera, but I was not THAT prepared. We'll just pretend that I looked something like this guy, though with a bigger bird and not nearly as cute as he.

Also, from our vantage point, the bald eagle was well placed. Last time it wasn't quite the photo op it was this time. Doesn't he look stunning?

And then we went home. Phew. The zoo can wear you out. I did get a group photo. Love all these kids.

I sometimes call them my monkeys. Some days they act more like them than others. Ives does a pretty good impression.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Silliness Runs in the Family

June has mixed up some words recently that really had me laughing.

We play a 'witch' game in our house sometimes when I want things to be clean, but I don't want the kids to complain about cleaning. Honestly, they love it...I just have to have the energy for it.

Tyler is obviously not around for most of these weird games, but one Saturday the kids were asking if we could play. (See? They are asking to clean. Crazy huh?)

Ivory: Dad, you can play too. You can be another witch.

June: No, Dad would be a wardrobe.

Dad: Warlock?

June: Yeah, that's what I meant.


Another time we were in the car debating about why we wear seatbelts.

Ivory: I'll keep the lapbelt on. I'll just take off the shoulder strap.

Me: That strap keeps you safe and helps prevent a concussion in the event of a collision.

Ivory: What's a concussion?

Me: It's when you hit your head really hard and you could damage your brain.

June: Yeah, that's like ambrosia.

(I'm sure she was looking for amnesia, but I kinda like ambrosia, and would much prefer that if we had an accident.)


We updated our silly pictures this week. I was supposed to do them on April 1st. That didn't quite happen, but I still managed to get them done in a month starting with the letter 'A.' It counts, right?

Here we are in all our silly glory. Happy Friday. (And yes, I will finish up the other posts soon enough. I am dragging my feet since Tyler took hundreds of pictures at Fete Day.)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A to Z

It is definitely a different routine around here. I feel out of sorts, but I know it will settle in time, much like bad chili.

The girls seem to be enjoying school. My guess is that their favorite parts right now are seeing friends again, having home lunch, and getting a snack after school. (It is amazing what food does to keep you going.)

I was able to catch all three on the first day, and I remembered to do their 'other' favorites. It is fun to see them change and grow. I hope you enjoy these.

If you want to see the differences from last year, you can look here, and here. I never got one of June, but I am all about repentance. (You kinda have to rely on it when you are a mother.)

The littles are I are having a relaxing day. We loaded up on library books and snacks yesterday and now we can sit back and reap our rewards. Happy Thursday.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

And They're Off

My Nephew is back in Washington.

Three of my kids are back in (full day) school.

This will hopefully give me time to catch up on some blogging.

I have promised husband that I will not touch the computer in the evenings, since that is our only time together.

But since I just managed a shower while the littles are down watching Diego, I think I can make things work this year.

No, I will not use my TV as a babysitter (much).

I will be carpooling more this year. Blat.

Daisy will start preschool at some point.

Life will still be busy.

But I have decided that I love it all.

I love summer, when the kids come home and you can play and relax.

I love when schools starts again and you get a set schedule and a different amount of freedom.

Things will change whether you want them to or not.

You might as well just enjoy the ride.

I was getting a pedicure the other day, and they play very random (in my opinion) movies there. There was another weird "romance" on, but I enjoyed this quote.


"Life is like a disco. The music will change, but you just keep on dancing."

Here's to dancing through another school year.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Let's Shed a Tear

Sometimes I do really stupid things. Often they are apparent right away. The kids usually notice, because I say, "Oh crap." (Oddly, no one has picked up on this phrase. I should really stop using it before it sticks to them. Although there are definitely worse things they could say.)

Other times I don't notice my stupidity until later. I can't say that I prefer one over the other. I guess maybe it is better to find out you did something stupid right away and try to fix it than to find out later when delay may have caused more damage.

I'm sure you see where I am going with this. Yes, I did something stupid. I really don't think I did. But all evidence points to the contrary. 

See, last Tuesday, after I made those yummy suckers, I took the kids to a park. Sarah (famous lady from the zoo and blogging) invited us to go the Dinosaur museum. (You know, $2 Tuesdays.) It was FRIGHTFULLY crowded, so I called her and told her we should do something else and she mentioned a splash park nearby. So, although my children were not dressed for water, we went anyway.

The kids got drenched, and enjoyed themselves. I met up with Sarah and took a picture. (Woot!) I got to know all her kids a bit better. (They are pretty cool.) Tim was very patient and chilled while the girls ran wild. It was pretty fun.

We came home and the next day I downloaded my pictures. Or at least, I thought I did. I even remember looking through them and mentally choosing which ones I liked. The girls looked great in their soaking street clothes. In fact, I KNOW I put them on my computer. When I blogged about the suckers, I almost blogged about the splash park. (After all, they were the same day.) But I was busy and I put it off.

Today, I went to pick up where I left off, and the entire folder is empty. There are NO pictures. I checked the recycle bin, I searched my computer, but there is nothing. That only leaves one conclusion. That I never actually took them off the camera and there were deleted when I cleared it.


Seriously, could I be more stupid??

And it is fairly ironic that I still don't have a picture of Sarah. Blat.

I'm not very happy right now.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Jolly Rancher Suckers

This is possibly the easiest treat we have made yet. And all the kids loved them. And the neighbors. And hopefully anyone who I threw a sucker at, because I was so impressed with myself that I practically stood on the corner giving them away. (Seriously, you can ask two women who were headed to Zumba, who ended up with suckers in their car.)

Behold the easiness. First you cover a cookie sheet with foil and parchment paper. Then you allow children to choose color and flavor combinations. (We did three for a large sucker, but two actually look like a normal size sucker.)

Then I forgot to take a picture when we had them all lined up, so I quick opened the oven and snapped a shot.

You cook them at 200 degrees for 5-8 minutes. (The recipe says 5. Mine took more like 9. I never really counted. After five minutes, I just watched them carefully.) You want to take them out when they are melting into each other, but before they are too melty.

Then you quickly, and carefully, press a sucker stick* into each one and roll it just enough to coat it with Jolly Rancher. Then you let them harden back up. It doesn't take long. You could probably take them off the sheet in ten minutes (I did once), but a good half-hour will make sure they are room temperature again. 


The kids thoroughly enjoyed.

I guess I didn't really create a treat....I just changed the shape of one. But they sure are fun on a stick.

*I found the lollipop sticks at Funfinity. You could probably get them at a candy supply store. (Sorry, that probably makes them a little less easy to make.)

**The boy in the pictures is Tim, my nephew, who is visiting. We are working on a real smile. He tends to clown around for the camera.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Deep cleaning to the end

I mentioned before that I should really keep my deep cleaning chore going beyond the summer schedule. Looking back, many of the places I tidied or scrubbed could use another overhaul. Entropy...curse you.

And this week, I left the biggest beast for last. THE GARAGE. Duh, duh, duh.

Okay, I didn't even bother doing that much in there. I know for a fact the car is not getting back in until we get a shed. There is just too much stuff. But I did hit a case lot sale* recently and bought a few more food storage items. They needed to go out to the garage and I wasn't sure if I could get to the shelf, let alone stock it some more.

Here is the shelf.

And here is the stuff blocking the way.

I was impressed that I managed to get nine more cases of stuff on that shelf. And I am even more impressed that we actually have some food storage accumulated. We are woefully shy of having a good supply of water, but that will come in time. This is sure better than nothing.

And I had to make a path to get there of course. Granted, I also had to put stuff back when I was done, so it isn't an open space, but it feels much better.

Clean sure does make me happy.

*p.s. I should mention that I found the case lot sale when we went to a Patient Appreciation Lunch at our Dentist's. (The grocery store is next door.) They (the dentist) had burgers and soda and were giving away prizes every so often.

And we WON!! Kinda.

They had all these different prizes, and I would have loved a Kindle, or a Flat Screen T.V. Instead, we got an Oral B super toothbrush. It is one of the very fancy ones with different heads, and a timer thingy. I was curious enough that I looked it up on It is worth over $100. Wow, no stingy brushing here.

I can't download books to it, but hopefully we will have some brighter smiles and less cavities around here.