Friday, September 15, 2017

My Kids Have Loads of Talent

I'm still jumping back and forth between summer and May. Remind me not to fall behind next year. :)

Today, let's wrap all the rest of those end of the year performances. We'll start with Robyn.

Percussion was so fun for her last year. It is hard to believe it was her first year playing since she took to it so well. The only problem is that during band performances, she is way in the back. I can see you back there.

But during percussion songs, she is usually right up front. I don't know if that is because she is good or just short. Here she is playing the Blue Rondo melody that won their team a second place. (Probably depends on which instrument she is playing as well.)

Even with everyone playing, she was still front and center. Easier to take pictures.

Mrs. Taylor did a cool thing on their last performance night. She gave out awards to people in the band and percussion. She had an outstanding percussionist from each grade. Robyn was her pick from the 7th grade crew. (Not surprising in my opinion.) Here she is receiving her award.

And some new sticks. Guaranteed she'll be using those soon.

Pearl had a little performance thing. Actually, it was very poorly organized and parents couldn't really see anything,  but they gave her a ribbon at the end, so she felt special. Yay for participation ribbons!! (Sense the sarcasm.)

At the elementary school, they held a Dance Festival. This was fun because previously, only June's school did that. When we moved to our new school, they have one, although I'm told this was their first year trying it. It turned out really cute. All the songs were very unique and the kids were darling. The weather managed to cooperate and I thought it went well. Pearl was in the back, so she was hard to see during the 1st grade number.

But I love this action shot where you can see her jumping.

Daisy was even further in the back.

But luckily they did this thing where they danced with partners, so I was able to see her come around the corner. Her partner was her secret crush, although I'm not sure how much he enjoyed the dancing since he came to school with his arm in a sling.

I thought they were dressed so cute with their planet costumes.

Ivory looked cold, but to be honest, it was a little chilly outside.

They did the traditional reel that Mahoney has done for ages.

Ivory makes a cute little pioneer. I'm sad that she didn't get to do the pioneer trek that June did, but such is life.

Daisy did another semester of Vocal Motion. I'm thinking that it wasn't a roaring hit because it dropped in attendance from 20 kids to 5. But Daisy loved it. Their final show was at a retirement home. The sound system wasn't working correctly, and I can't say I was very surprised. Although Symphony has talent, she seems a little scatter brained and unorganized. But she sure does love the kids and wants to instill a love of performing in them. Daisy did a fantastic job. She was really good at all her parts. (She learned a whole bunch of hawaiian words and carried that whole song because I couldn't hear anyone else singing them.)

Miss Symphony gave them all a treat for doing a good job. I'm not sure this program will continue next year.

Finally, there was an end of school assembly at the Jr. High. Almost everyone performed...ballroom, orchestra, band, drama. (Wow, drama did this little play that was soooooo long. Not a great choice in my opinion.) Percussion played on garbage cans. I was excited to see this because I had heard Robyn practicing, but they hadn't played them at any concerts. Guess it's lucky that I was already at the school. Can you see Robyn at the end on the right.

When she plays, she sometimes hits nothing because there is no can next to her. I think she practiced in the middle somewhere, but happened to be on the end for the performance. I thought it was really cool.

Such fun to have kids doing so many cool activities. It keeps us busy but definitely entertained.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

We Miss You Moxy

I know I complained about the dog, but I will happily admit that I really did love her...a lot.

I'll never forget that day when I thought it would be fun to take the kids to the humane society. I had said 'no dog' previously, but I wasn't adverse to looking. Tyler saw that as a crack in my armor and instead of 'looking', he was 'shopping.' We came home with a dog.

It took me a while to get used to her. There is the famous quiche incident which almost ended with me giving the dog away. But Moxy was never for me in the first place. She was always for this one.

Trust me, we all loved her. We just showed it in different ways. Pearl showed her love by squishing the dog whenever possible. (Pearl doesn't even know a time before Moxy.) But I always thought of Moxy as Robyn's dog. And Robyn thought of her that way as well. It led to many an argument and some hurt feelings.

Pearl often won extra time with Moxy simply because she was home more while kids were in school.

Moxy was an official part of the family. Often the kids would say we had 8 people in our family because they were counting Moxy. It was really hard when we had to leave her at Grandma's for extended periods. Sometimes we were on vacation. There was that one time with the cat  pee house. We were always very excited to get her back.

Moxy earned a place in our hearts. You can tell she was famous since portraits were done of her.

She slept with Robyn much of the time, but her favorite spot was always in my laundry pile. Usually we have a hamper, but whenever laundry was thrown in the closet, you would find Moxy there shortly afterward.

She loved the sun. She found all the best places to soak in the warm rays.

She was super patient right from the start. She never bit anyone. Her weapon of choice was licking. If kids got too crazy or pulled her fur, she would lick them in the face. Well...she'd lick you in the face anyway. She was a licker. Because she was small, she was toted around everywhere.

And whenever people came to visit, she was picked up and loved.

She was patient and loved to be in your lap. She was quite a snuggly dog. And she was nice and soft. Especially the white fur on her chest. So soft.

Moxy traveled well. When we first got her, we would put her in a kennel, but that didn't last too long.

This is one of my favorite pictures. It seems like this would be an uncomfortable position, but Moxy looks very content in her Sphinx pose.

Moxy was a CA dog, so she didn't love the cold weather, but she made it through the Utah winters just fine. Granny V made her some outfits that I would always take off her. She looked ridiculous.

Check out her pink nails. That was Granny V's work.

Moxy really wasn't high maintenance, although I still laugh at the evening I found her wearing a sleep mask.

She participated in our traditions and never complained.

She really was an amazing dog.

Moxy seemed to get a little sickly in July. I remember coming back from Idaho with her and she seemed frail. She has always been a skinny dog, but she seemed even thinner and wasn't eating well. I would say that she declined rapidly. She started to breathe shallowly and Tyler noticed right away and decided to make an appointment at the vet. He called Friday morning (while we were all off at Lagoon) but the vet was full. They didn't have any available appointments so they scheduled for Monday. They told Tyler that she would probably be fine over the weekend.

Tyler gave her some wet dogfood that evening. This is our last picture of her, but Tyler was excited that she was eating.

She was up a bit that night. Tyler remembers seeing her move from spot to spot, but she eventually settled in the closet, with the laundry. And we believe she passed away sometime in the early morning.

When I woke up, I saw her in the closet, but I didn't want to disturb her. In retrospect, it was probably a good thing that we didn't find her until after archery. I'm not sure anyone would have had a good time. As it was, Robyn was the one who went looking for her. I'm sorry she had to find Moxy.

It was a very hard experience. Moxy was one of the family. I'm sure it was awkward for Ethan as well. He was suddenly surrounded by seven very drippy-eyed people. Although Moxy was not his dog, I think he felt very sorry for our loss. He went down and took a nap while we had a small service for Moxy.

Each child was able to come and say goodbye to Moxy and then we wrapped her in a cloth and buried her in the yard. Each of the kids put flowers on her grave.

Robyn got a nice marker for her.

 It has been hard for each person in their own way. There were frequent outbreaks of tears at any given moment for quite a while. I felt it too. Small things like when I was cooking and dropped something, I knew Moxy wasn't coming to get it. Even on the first day of school, when I came home from work, the first thing I did was look for Moxy, even though it had been over a month. It was just my daily routine. It has been hardest on Robyn, you might imagine. I feel like nights are one of the hardest time because she was used to snuggling with Moxy. (Well, Moxy actually slept on her head.) Another tough time is when she is feeling blue. Moxy was her go-to confidant. (Dogs are the best listeners.) There is no easy fix for grief. Time helps, but even it does not close a wound cleanly. There will always be a scar. And that is okay. I don't want to forget Moxy. She added so much to our family.

A neighbor was very kind and drew a picture for Robyn.

And Robyn did her own special drawing of her dog.

Moxy, you will always have a place in our hearts. I'm hoping that on the other side, you will be there to  meet us, wagging your tail and ready to lick any feet that come close enough.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Day to Be Brave

We were wrapping up our week with Ethan and what better way than with a birthday. It just so happens that Daisy was kind enough to provide one for us.

I planned to go out and get her yummy pastries for her birthday. We usually do Kolaches, but I was craving one of those apricot heaven things from Bake 360. So I got up early to get deliciousness before everyone got up. Ethan accompanied me. I think he was trying to make up for falling asleep the night before. He made it one way...but on the return trip...

What can I say? We party hard.

Here is birthday bear with the leftovers from breakfast.

Daisy chose to go shooting for her birthday. Not the gun kind of shooting she had just done with Ethan, but the archery kind of shooting. She decided months in advance that that was what she wanted. So, archery shooting we went.We have a pretty nice facility not far away. They are legit. They have all the right gear to keep your fingers from blistering and your forearm from being snapped by the string. Look at all these Hawkeyes in training.

Everyone did a great job. Check out some of these shots.

Ivory's was my favorite. Not even sure how she hit that wood column on the side. But clearly, she wasn't the first.

Peapod was great. I don't know if she ever hit a target, but she was great at collecting arrows.

That's some pretty sweet shooting Tex!

And of course, the birthday girl. That bow looks bigger than she is, but she owned it.

Even the parents did some shooting. However, I want some extra gear next time. I'm sure I was holding it wrong, because the string kept hitting my boob. Wow...that hurts. I had quite the bruise the next day.

Archery was great fun. Eventually your fingers and arms get tired, so we wore ourselves out and then went home. Unfortunately, when we got home, we discovered that Moxy had passed away. That led to a morning full of tears and sorrow. Moxy will get her own post because she deserves it. It was quite a bittersweet birthday.

In the evening, we had pulled ourselves together enough to finish the celebrating. Daisy got some awesome balloons.

We measured her and she is still topping the charts. Slated to be one of the tallest Cazier's. (In our family at least.)

Gift opening was fun. She finally got the mirror she has been wanting.

Probably her favorite was the fidget spinner. I actually bought it on a whim. I had no idea my kids were coveting one.

With a gift from Grandma and some shoes from mom, Daisy went into fancy mode, her favorite place to be.

This picture is one of my favorites. While we were opening gifts, Pearl was smothering Ethan with her love, as only Pearl can.

We finished the evening with ice cream cupcakes. Daisy loves them. I think they are weird, but I dutifully make them when they are a birthday request.

Happy Birthday our lovely Daisy cakes! You are a ray of sunshine in our home.