Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Last Three Ladies

Everyone has had a chance to go to Idaho to say goodbye to Grandpa. It has been a great experience to have some individual, personal time with him. I believe it is a tender mercy in the midst of a lot of heartache.

June's week was fun for her, even though she jammed her finger. You might notice a brace on her finger in some of the photos.

I think she was in heaven. This is probably the perfect day for June. A book and some snacks nearby. Sheer bliss.

Of course Tyler took Wallace and they did some riding.

In the evenings, Grandpa likes to watch Super Cross. Everyone went downstairs to enjoy the fun. On one side, there is Barry.

On the other, we have all the J's. (June, Jami, and J.R.)

June had her talk with Grandpa. She will likely miss him the most, since she is the oldest. But all the kids have fond memories of him.

I like this picture. It just reminds me of how comfortable it is in the Cazier home. I love the pictures on the wall, the dogs on your lap, and the love that is always there.

Tyler is well acquainted with the drive to Idaho now. On the trip, we always pass a field with a large bull. Tyler was supposed to ride a bull for a friend in Texas. In lieu of an actual bull, he keeps telling me he is going to jump on this bull on the side of the freeway. Naturally, I have never allowed this.

So, of course he waits until he takes June. Look at this picture. See all the barbed wire. I think that means KEEP OUT.

But does that stop them? NO. That bull is bigger than he looks.

Tyler didn't have a chance to climb aboard. His conquest was larger than life. But this picture still made his Texas friend happy.

Daisy was the next and last daughter to go. By now, Grandpa's stint should have been giving out, but he was still doing well. All the kids got to see him with his same sense of humor and personality.

The Grom still came too.

Here you can see Daisy with the Grom as her fellow passenger. Who says car trips with Dad aren't fun?

Grandma kept Daisy busy in Idaho. She put her to work watering the plants. She dutifully waters here with her new watering can.

My little sleeping beauty.

I think this is a great picture of Daisy and Grandpa, even with Tyler's finger.

All the kids had now had a chance to say goodbye to Grandpa, and I figured it was my turn. That gets a little tricky when both parents want to take a trip, but five kids are left behind. Luckily, we have the best neighbors EVER. They took all the kids, including one little Pearl who was throwing up right up until the day we left. (She did not throw up for the neighbors, thank goodness.)

Tyler and I were able to travel to Idaho together, even stopping up at Primary Children's to visit Hinckley. (We missed him because of getting there past his bedtime, but we still visited with Kat, Kolby and the other boys.)

It was really nice to spend time in Idaho. Barry has a pretty good routine going. From the front room, I LOVE that he has a pair of binoculars to keep tabs on the goings-on outside.

He let me check out the view.

Don't think Nosy Neighbor. Barry isn't one to gossip, but he likes to keep in touch with his surrounding.

There was Grom riding as usual. Tyler really enjoys his rides with his Dad. (He enjoys all the rides actually. One of our chores last Saturday, was that everyone had to take a ride on the Grom with Dad.)

My talk with Barry was very special. He was able to bear his testimony of the Savior. Barry has always been such an inspiration in my life. He has great integrity and shows his dedication to the Lord in all he does. I got to hear more about his experience after his diagnosis. I mentioned before that he was going to be called as Stake President. Well, the story is a little different.

They meet with many bishops and branch presidents. Each man is allotted a small window, I think Barry said about 11 minutes, in which the general authority is able to speak with them. All these men are worthy and they interview them and let the spirit guide as they chose between them for the next Stake President.

In Barry's case, he told them right away about his diagnosis, and the General Authority spent the next 45 minutes or so counseling with him and giving him a blessing. How special that he was able to see the need to rearrange an obviously tight schedule to spend time with a man very deserving of the Lord's attention at this time in his life.

Barry continues to serve faithfully as Branch President. I know this must be hard for him, with his pain levels and exhaustion from simple activities, but he is a stalwart example of enduring to the end.

I really admire and love my father-in-law. He is a great man.

And I thank him for making time to spend with each of us. What a blessing.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Stuffety Stuff

Let's catch up on some Cazier adventures and the randomness that follows us from day to day.

First, shall we rewind five years or so? I went to a garage sale and found some wooden hearts on posts. I bought five thinking it would be really fun to paint them and put them up around Valentine's Day, outside maybe. I was going to paint one for each child. (Hmm...at the time, I may have been planning on painting four for the children I had, and one for myself. Either way, it worked out.)

But I kept putting it off and then they got hidden somewhere in the garage.
And then we moved.
And then they were hidden in our current garage. (Really, when I went looking for them, they were in the attic storage above the garage.)

It seemed it was about time to get them done. (Who says I procrastinate projects?) However, now the girls were old enough that they didn't want me to make one for them. They wanted to make them themselves.

Fair enough. Out came the paint and brushes and creativity and this was the end result.

Awesome huh? I never would have made them so different and original. I'm so glad I waited for the kids. Left to right, who painted them: Ivory, June, Robyn, Daisy (of course) and Pearl and Mom did the last one. I really love them and can't wait to put them up next year.

I have mentioned whined in the past about all the projects June has to do for school. I see some things she works on head out the door, but other things she will just tell me about because they are finished at school. Today I stopped by school to bring her a mathbook she forgot and it was fun to see some of her projects on the wall.

This one is built from assignments throughout the year, starting with the self-portrait that was done months ago to the writing assignment finished last week.

This next project was done in art, I believe. The dessert stand was a somewhat 3D project, followed by the clay project in which they made cupcakes. They looked so cool.

Here is June's a little closer.

Here is another wonderful rendition of a skeleton child done with dominoes, except this time Dad flipped out because Pearl had been sick and he made June sanitize all the dominoes. Less fun. (Even less fun was the week that she couldn't keep anything down. Hate throwing up.)

Some wild turkeys live near Ivory's gymnastics. We took a picture of them before. But this particular day, they were in the parking lot, and right outside the car.

Ivory jumped out and told me not to move because I would run over a turkey. One just circled my car for a while. Not the brightest bird in my opinion, and I heard they were clever.

Finished another dessert plate. Five down, three to go.

This is a great picture in my estimation. It proves that I curl hair every once in a while and take the kids out for treats.

June kept telling me Costco had three Gelato scoops for only $1.50. I finally caved. I think everyone approved of my moment of weakness.

Here is my carpool buddy. She is a bit sassy, but usually I don't mind her company.

March is annual flip flop buying month. I'm sad to say that they aren't $2.50 anymore. The price increased a dollar. Blah. Stupid inflation. But flip flops must be bought.

Things change too quickly. Just last year, my flip flops were the biggest. (Barely.) This year, June's are bigger and Robyn's are the same size. Crazy.

Several of my friends are building houses right now. Thankfully, I am not jealous at all. I love my house and I know we are where we are supposed to be. But as I get occasional tours, I still see things that remind me that I want to make some changes around here. One thing I desire is a mud room. In our entryway, there is no place for backpacks and jackets. We do have a standing coat rack, but it gets overloaded and the backpacks just get shoved in the closet in the most haphazard way. Yikes. It is awful.

I asked Tyler about letting me take over some space in the garage. I could build some locker type area where kids could stash their backpacks and coats.

He said "NO!" (Something about not wanting me to take over more space in HIS garage. Blah, blah, blah.)

Next, I thought about redoing stuff in the closet. I took out the top part of the little bookcase. But I couldn't fit five backpacks on there. I just wasn't feeling it. This is the picture mid project. It doesn't begin to show how awful it was with all the backpacks piled in front, plus coats and such hanging from above. (Which I had already removed.)

I had mentioned putting some hooks inside the closet, but I wasn't sure how I wanted them, and there is always the problem of support and making sure they aren't going to just tear holes in the wall. (I am not the best at finding or caring about studs unless you count the one I caught fifteen years ago.)

Suddenly Tyler was in project mode. He got out some wood we had in the garage and put the kids to work.

(The paint choice was mine. When you have girls, you just embrace pink.)

Boards finished, he bought hooks and assembled. Look how fantastic!! (And those babies are secure!)

I took out the shelf and let backpacks take up space at the bottom.

And now for the final reveal...

It is so nice. The kids don't have to stuff their backpacks in. Everyone has a hook. The coat rack isn't overloaded. The organized section of my brain is smiling.

The moral is to adapt. I think we did pretty well this time.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Pearl's Birthday - Part 2

Kangaroo Zoo is such a weird place; just lots of blow up toys all over the place. Take off your shoes and go to town kids. I enjoy it simply because I really have no responsibilities. I bring a book, look up occasionally, and make sure I don't leave without all my children at the end.

Tyler even took over the camera, so I just relaxed in style. He got some great shots. He found each child in turn.

Some of the kids buddied up to play. Robyn was escorting the birthday girl around for a while.

Here's another pair.

Tyler caught me doing what I do best.

It is hard to catch all five kids at once. This is the best picture we had of all five.

Besides reading, I do cuddle the severely wounded. (Or even those less severe injuries.)

We couldn't leave without getting pictures of the fantastic Captain America, and his sidekick, Daddy's Girl.

They make a pretty good team, even when fighting crime takes a back seat to being silly.

To finish off the evening, we give you Pearl, doing impressions. This one might be Elvis.

I think this is Joan of Arc. CHARGE!!!!

There you have it. Pearl is five. Winter birthdays are in the past. Here we come Spring.