Sunday, June 25, 2017

Monkey Highlights Four

Another busy week under our belts. This was week four of summer, and I'm in denial that this is the last week of June. Summer really flies.

What did we have going these past moons? Last Sunday was Father's Day and that deserves its own post. Tyler tried some new fashion trends. (It is rare that he can embarrass me, but sometimes he is just a bit over the top.)

Bright and early Monday morning, I took Ivory to the designated area to relieve all parents of children for five days. They call it camp. I call it a blessed relief. Just kidding, I already had almost a week without Ivory. I wasn't ready for her to leave again, but she was more than willing to take off on another adventure. We got her easily checked in, with, I might add, no misspelled names. (Small summer miracle.) She had plenty of friends to go with and I knew she would make plenty more.

One more selfie with mom.

Onto the bus, and then off into the wilderness. She took pictures which I plan to have developed sometime in the next year. (At least that is honest, if not optimistic.)

That afternoon we made it to the park with friends again. Highlights included all the little boys gathering snails from the small stream. And definitely the fact that no one knew the word archipelago. We brought Probe and I thought that would be a great word. Too bad no one had heard of it. (And I'm not just talking June. Jonny, Beth, and Lindsay didn't know it either. For the record, it is easier to win when no one knows your word. Do you know what archipelago means?)

In the evening we had a block party. Potluck style led to plenty of amazing food. We played games well into the evening. The twins taught us 'kill' that you play with a ball. I was really bad at it, but it was fun to play anyway.

Then we played a couple more games at home.

Robyn suddenly decided on a haircut. Look up there at the hoola hoop picture. Her hair was really long. She brushed it out on the way to Kellie's and she looked like Cousin It because it was so fluffy.

Her hair is still plenty fluffy (when its dry), but now it is shorter.

June started school on Wed. We all laughed at her Tuesday night, because we said it was a school night and she had to go to bed. She opted to take P.E. over the summer so she would have room in her schedule for other things. It sounded good at the time, but I think part of her regrets it. However, no choice about it now, and she has a good attitude as she goes to school for four hours a day. At least it is only for 3 weeks.

When the kids are at home, we play lots of games and do hair often. Here is a fun thing I tried on June's hair.

Daisy was taking some pictures and it makes me laugh that she took a picture of her face over Mr. Flibble. Something seems fishy about that picture.

After getting some cheap chips at the store, we've played more Fan Tan recently. This isn't my hand, but I wouldn't mind four sevens.

Our friend gives us tickets to the Parade of Home every year. We usually run out of time and never make it over, but this time Tyler got our cabooses in gear. Luckily, there were four houses right next to each other, so we browsed around there. There are always some fun ideas. I think I like different walls.

Tyler took a picture of a small door leading into a pantry. It made me laugh because some lady stooped down just as he took a picture. Is it still photo bombing if we caught her instead of the other way around?

Friday rolled around like Fridays do, and Ivory was back. Still smiling.

She had such a great time. She said she didn't miss me at all. Not surprising really.

So I sent her off to babysit and went to the temple with my honey. (Don't worry, I caught up to her at bedtime and let her yak my ear off about camp stories.)

Finally just a nice relaxing day of church. We had Stake Conference and I loved every session. Robyn was doodling during the general session today. She drew a mom with 14 arms. That is really how I feel; always running and doing. I guess moms are pretty amazing.

p.s. Speaking of moms, we had our family book group today. It was fun to catch up with Granny V and Grandma Dargan and Tim. We read the Hollow Kingdom series. (Well, I've read them before, and we were only assigned the first book to read, but it was great to reread the whole series.)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

What's One Ankle More or Less (Part I)

This is Raging Stallion, guest posting regarding "the ankle," which has come up a few times in the last few posts. This is yet another epic saga in the tome that is my life, so I'll be presenting it it more than one segment. After all, mere mortals can only handle so much. So, here's Part I of What's One Ankle More or Less.

Pause for effect...

At 1:42 a.m. on June 8, 1996, the bowling lanes were empty. Two minutes later, I would be on my knees in the worst pain my strapping, rugged, overtly handsome body had yet felt.

It was the all-night high-school graduating senior class party. The Elk's Lodge, whose primary selling point had been a spacious gym, was decorated and arrayed with lots of fun little rooms where games had been set up to accommodate the wild seniors of 1996. Most importantly, the bowling alleys were in the basement — and they were the most sought-after attractions of the evening.

The Elk's Lodge, Idaho Falls — where it all began.

I'd been rambling back and forth across the gym all night, dodging sleep drunk dames that didn't have a lot of inhibition when they were fully rested, making my way to the far side of the gym, where the long stairway of old-timer steps led down to the bowling alleys below. There was one of those rickety 1970s plastic deep-dish chairs at the bottom, where a not-so-gentleman kept reminding me that going up and down stairs actually wasn't that interesting, and maybe I should stop doing it.

I wasn't going up and down geriatric steps for my health! I was going up and down geriatric steps to check on the lines at the bowling alley! At 1:42, finally, the Holy Grail of The Class of '96 All Nighter: no lines at the bowling alley! I could hardly contain myself. I fully bolted up the stairs, taking them two or three at a time. At the top, I rounded the handrail, and searched the crowd of lazed no-longer students. I found my friend, Sparky, in the crowd, naturally on the other side of the gym.

Short lines at the bowling alley were precious, but no lines? That was priceless.

I wasn't going to let that kind of opportunity slip away. I had to alert my friends. "Hey guys!" (In retrospect, a poor word choice to summon my particular friends.) "The bowling alley's got no lines!" This exclamation had the intended effect of informing my friends. They dutifully adjusted heading and speed in my direction.

Of course, such an anonymous message was bound to be misinterpreted as to be intended for someone else. As it turns out, there were a whole lot of someone elses. Most of the graduating class of 1996 turned toward me, assessed this new information, calculated the distance my posse had to travel to get to the bowling alley, then figured in all the pranks and misdeeds perpetrated against them as only a high-school senior can figure, and arrived at the conclusion that, in fact, they would be the ones to go bowling instead.

Having grown up in Idaho, you'd think I would have experienced a stampede sometime in my life. Nope. The rampaging horde of narcoleptic zombies pressed on my position — it was the first stampede I'd ever seen. It was ... terrifying! At once I realized that I was the tip of the spear. If anyone was going to claim those bowling lanes, it was going to be me! I took a last look into the gaping maw of the mob, but I could no longer see my friends. I turned, and ran.

The first few steps toward the stairs were easy. I was gaining speed, as I used my arm to grip and spin my way onto the flight of stairs. Five or six stairs in, I could hear the throng converging at the top of the stairs, negotiating that tricky crowded first turn like so many holeshot motocross starts. About ten steps in, I turned to see Kevin Longhurst, center for the football team was lumbering toward me like a tree felled in the forest: uncontrollable and massive. This was good information to have. I was about to be crushed by a 200+ pound man who probably couldn't have stopped himself if he'd wanted to, and the look on his face said he hadn't wanted to.

Despite possession of critical information, it was here that physics taught me a valuable lesson that would later serve me well while playing sports: when one turns their head, their shoulders follow. Where the shoulders go, so go the hips. And where the hips go, the feet go. Despite the gaping surface area of the old-man stairs, my feet had followed my hips.

By the time I realized my right foot was pointing at the wall, not down the stairs, I was busy rolling the full weight of my body across the lateral side of my right ankle. I think my body weight would have stopped somewhere around where the ground should have been, and I probably would have been ok, but my ankle just kept right on rolling...down onto the next step. There was a seizing pain in my ankle, followed by a quick, short crack.

That's when my ankle went on strike and refused to support the idiot racing down the stairs on it. To spare you the gruesome and humiliating details. I found myself at the bottom of the stairs, holding my ankle to stop the pain, and holding my breath to keep the tears from leaking out. That not-so gentleman at the bottom of the stairs let me sit on his retro plastic throne to rest.

The ankle swelled. The parents were called. The ER was visited. The x-rays were taken. The drugs were administered. The crutches were given. And I returned to the senior party in an air splint boot, totally high and just in time for the party to end. I had a hairline fracture of the fibula. Weak. They didn't even cast it.

What I didn't know was that the serious injury that would impact me into the future longer than I had yet been alive, was not the hairline fracture to the fibula. That injury went completely un-diagnosed.

Tune in next week for more Raging Stallion and the Adventures of Ankle Man!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Murder in Fairytale Land

*Guest post written by Robyn Cazier

My birthday was recently. I turned 13. It's so great now, because I can finally watch movies.

Anyway, my party was a while ago, but my mom's slow in blogging because of our everyday busy lifestyle, so I am going to write about my amazing birthday party. That happened several months ago.

When I was still 12, I wanted my party to be cool. I didn't want something boring, or not really partyish.
My parents had just recently gone to Idaho to have a Murder Mystery with my relatives, but sadly, us kids, weren't invited. We still got to play games with Grandma, (We actually ended up making a million treats and watching a good movie.... but still.) but it wasn't as cool as a Murder Mystery. You can see their Murder Mystery here.

I really wanted in on their Murder Mystery, but there wasn't any kids, like I said, so I asked mom if I could have my own Murder Mystery... for my birthday.

My birthday, of course, was still a little ways away. They had their Murder Mystery in February, and my birthday wouldn't come until a few months after that. But I really talked it up at school. All my friends wanted to come. So check, on that ultimate list of awesomeness.

I handed out my invitations, but some of the people I really wanted to come, couldn't come. My best friend couldn't come, which was sad. And one of my percussion friends couldn't come either. But I made the best of my invitations.

Most everyone who RSVP-ed came. One girl didn't come because her grandfather had a stroke.

I even painted the window to go with my party

It was really excited when someone would come, because everyone was supposed to be in costume.
I was Queen Black, because her character was hosting the party, and I thought that would fit since I hosted the party.

As guests arrived, they were welcomed to the Enchanted Realm:

Everyone was looking pretty good

* You may notice that the names are similar to Disney characters. Don't worry, everything in the Murder Mystery was changed just a bit to protect copyright.

Since it was my birthday, I got to choose what we ate for dinner. I'm kind of a chip and salsa person, without the salsa. So we had a chippy dippy thingamajig. It's called 'Beef taco skillet' and man, it was good! From what I could tell, most everyone like it too. That started round one.

Then we took a group photo.

Then my mom had to open her mouth and say: 'Point at who you like the least!'

On my birthday too!

But the theme of the Murder Mystery was a fairy tale sort of thing, and I wasn't being very nice. Most of the people there had some pretty good reasons not to like me, but that is no excuse for saying they liked me the least, ON MY BIRTHDAY.

Anyway, then we got into the game. It was really fun. These pictures are from the rest of round one,  and the beginning of round two.

 Everyone had little papers to tell them what to do and say. And most everyone stayed pretty in character.

Then all of a sudden-the lights went out! (Not really, but in the game they did. We did turn out the lights, but it wasn't very dark.) There was a loud noise and the lights came back on, and I had died! And there was a bloody lantern, and my forehead was bashed.

Everyone tried to figure out who had done it. Not because they didn't like that I died, they did, but that was the point of the game.

There was a lot of stuff that happened, and the third round started. After everyone had conversed, all the clues pointed at one person.

MAGNIFICENT!! She had some good reasons for killing me, which was sad. But I still like her, she is still my friend, even though she did kill me.

All in all, it was a really fun game, and one of the best birthday parties I've every had.

Of course, since it was my birthday, I got presents.

The Bat cave nightgown meant a lot, because, Batman, one of the people at the party, gave it to me. It was just so fitting.

Then the Stafford's gave me a little note.
It said, 'We didn't know what you wanted, so we got you 10 dollars.'

It was a great night. And one of the funniest things was that Christina's horns, which were homemade, were a huge hit. Everyone wanted to try them on.

Happy Birthday to me!

* One funny moment. We were playing Mafia later. Christina thought it would be a cool idea to take pictures while her eyes were closed so maybe she could look back and catch the Mafia people with their eyes open. She took a ton of pictures, but when she looked at them, she realized she had been in selfie mode and they were all of HER! Haha. Sadly, she deleted them before we could see them.