Just For Fun~My creative blog for scrapbooking and digital freebies!
If you are in need of a good book you can find one at http://amysbookcollection.blogspot.com/!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Over a year and a half ago this cat was a gift for Sydney's 6th Birthday. The runt of the litter he was already having to defend his manhood when Sydney gifted him with the name FOO FOO. He has been called Foo Foo Kong, Foophonious, The Foofinatore, Foofers, Foof, and ahhh yes John calls him The Evil One. His favorite spot is in the baby's bouncer seat but don't let this peaceful photo fool you. He is cuddly and sweet until you touch him in the belly and then you may loose a finger or an eye. The stairs are his domain and should you attempt to step over him as he purrs, seemingly asleep, you get the wrath of Foo Foo. Even after a year and a half our eight year old chocolate lab cowers behind my leg when the cat comes near. But for some reason we all can't help but love him (except John, I think he really does hate him.) As we pull into the driveway after school I get the same question every single day..."Where is Foo Foo?" And before snacks and homework Foo Foo is mauled with hugs and kisses. (He is an outside cat can't you tell?) Despite his evilness he is tolerant of babies, playing dressup and all the "imagination" games that Sydney has put him through...We love our Foofermister.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Book of a Thousand Days

Shannan Hale is awesome! I loved Princess Academy and Goose Girl was just as heartwarming. Her books are a good read for both young girls, starting around 3rd grade, and for older women like myself. She is an LDS author and so far her books have been very clean.
I read her latest book by the lake this weekend and Book of a Thousand Days did not disappoint. Like all of her books there is a touch of innocent romance, a hint of believable magic and always a princess in trouble.

Taken from a little-know tale by Brother's Grimm ,Shannan Hale recreates the fantastic story of Dashti, a young and honorable maid who is sealed away in a tower with her Lady Saren. Dashti records her experience in journal form and the reader is invited to follow her days of imprisonment as she and her lady suffer both physically and mentally. As the years pass the world outside is changing and Dashti must decide what is best for Lady Saren.
Shannon Hales lyrical language is enchanting and adds to the excitement and wonder of things to come for Dashti and Lady Saren. There is no foul language of any kind but at one point Dashti removes all of her clothing in front of a crowd of men. There is nothing sexual in nature (and I don't want to give anything away) but Mom's with young daughters may want to read and judge for themselves.
A new favorite, I would recommend Book of a Thousand Days to anyone who enjoys adventure, romance, drama, deception and a good book. My copy is available if anyone is interested.

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Memorial Weekend to Remember

So this weekend we loaded up the Motorhome and the boat and headed off to some lake outside of Spokane. We got the best camp site in the place, right next to the lake and a cute little stream.

We spent lots of time on the boat fishing for Sunfish, Crappie, Perch and we even caught a few Bass.

A boy after my own heart...if the fishing wasn't on fire Anderson had his nose in a new book. (I was excited to find him a new series about James Bond as a teenager, an immediate hit)

This is a picture of when Branson liked fishing. I won't even mention how many times the boat turned back to our campground on account that Branson had had enough.

The one and only time that I got to fish...Branson and Sydney asleep under a makeshift tent.

MOM: "What Cayden? You like fishing?" CAYDEN: "Well, yea when you catch something." We are all used to Sturgeon and Salmon fishing where you throw in your line and wait...and wait...three hours later you still wait...and wait...

When we weren't fishing the kids had a blast racing pine cones down the little stream. I think that is Anderson's cone that is winning. They even gave them names (they were so ridiculous I can't even remember them.) Some anal head camp lady came over and told them to stop sending the pine cones down the stream and into the lake, that it will hurt the fish. Uhhh, OK lady, have you looked around the lake...pine trees all over the place dropping tons of pine cones into the water. Maybe she is the pine cone police. Anyway my kids adapted and simply grabbed their cones before they entered the lake.

Did you know that hot dog skewers make great javelins? Of course I didn't let them throw them... at anybody. They had to be facing away from any human life form and only aim at the empty cupcake box.

John and the kids thought it was a riot to chew up sunflower seeds and then spit the shells at each other...when they realized that mom thought this was not only uncool but totally disgusting I became the main target.

We had a great time and headed home.

Right outside of Spokane the motor home blew a tire. It was so loud that I thought the entire back of the motor home had broke off onto the highway. (Kind of like that old Herbie movie when Herbie the Lovebug comes unwelded and splits apart) anyway Branson kept right on sleeping and the kids didn't even flinch (They did have earphones on watching a movie) The tire pretty much ripped our wheel well to shreds. I tell you, this stretch of highway is bad luck for our family. Years ago Karen Jenkins and I broke down and because she was great with child I had her flag down a car for help (you know, playing the sympathy card). In this same leg of the trip my parents had a flat last year on the way home from Silverwood, John broke down when traveling with a buddy and here we are again!

Well I love my husband but let's just say I fix the toilets around this house. I know how to change a tire but we couldn't find one single tool to use. Luckily a friend of his was about 1/2 hour behind us and they helped us out. It's a good thing too because I never knew a motor home tire was so much harder to change...3 hours later we were back on the road. Oh and guess where good ole Uncle Sam's money is going to be spent now, cause the back tires on our motor home are Duelies, meaning there are four of them. Oh happy day.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Why John Wants a King

I stayed up late last night for some "me" time and when I was exhausted and ready to climb into bed this is what I found. Not an inch of room left for poor Anderson and lucky me I got to haul them all off to their own beds so that I could actually get some sleep.


Random.org has picked our winner...OhMeOhMyers! What a happy day...it's Friday, it's a three day weekend and you won! So Kim, just let me know what you want me to shop for and I will deliver the goods.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

May Showers Bring...Tears?

Every since he was one month old Branson has loved taking a shower. For about a month now he has made it quite difficult to take a shower alone if he is anywhere in the vicinity. I thought I would document just how stubborn this sixth month old is so that no one will judge me if they see my in the late hours of the day and I have yet to take a shower...

As soon as I lay him down on the bathroom rug he faces the shower door and his arms and legs begin to fly around like crazy. Turn the water on and he about dances out of his diaper!

As soon as I step into the shower and close the door he realizes he has not been invited in. The happy times are over. I wash as fast as I possibly can while listening to a chorus of wailing and gnashing of....gums. (No teeth yet) He gets pretty ticked.

Simply open the door to the shower and all tears stop immediately, the legs begin kicking again and he is back to being excited. This is him cooing and thanking me for washing so very quickly so that he can now get into the shower.

I have created a monster! But a clean monster.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Peace on Earth Goodwill Toward...ME!

I love Goodwill, yard sales or any Thrift Shop for that matter. If I have the time, a few buck and some wet wipes I am good to go. Here is what I found this weekend at Goodwill and a yard sale!

Board Books for Branson .25 each

VHS (I'll take what I can get) Baby Einstein at Branson's age level $1.00 each

Picture books to add to our collection; paper back .25 each, hard back .50

Another copy of one of my all time favorite books (the pages are falling out of our original) .25

Novels for the boys, .50 each

Gap jean skirt for Sydney $1.75

Chapter books that Sydney enjoys .50 each

Poetry books for our Library .50 each

Swim shorts for Sydney $1.50

Another of my all time favorites! Already have it, don't need a new one, just couldn't pass it up and it will make a great gift! .25

**When Sydney was little she heard my boys talking about this cool book and she thought it was called Diarrhea Worm

Dinosaur PJ's for Payson $2.00

***He came with me to Goodwill and he fell in love with these even though they are a size 10! He also sat on the floor as I went through the books and kept repeating, "Amy...don't you have enough books can't we go to the car now?!" Alicia, your son has no appreciation for the good things in life!

Beautiful bookcase to house my stamp sets $25.00

Why I love Goodwill...Curious George Colors Board Book Regularly $6.99 my price .25.

***It wasn't until I took this picture that I saw where this book was originally purchased!

So one of the things that attracted me to blogging were the fun giveaways that people have sometimes put together...so here is mine!

Blogger, Bargain Book Giveaway!

To enter, simply comment on this post and be sure to include the following...(I have to get something in return)

  1. Your favorite Adult book
  2. Your favorite Young Adult book
  3. Your favorite Children's Picture book (With or Without words)

The Winner will Receive...

A collection of books from me! Of course they will be used (if you are worried, go back and read this post again!) You will get to pick the type of books from the following list...

  1. Young Adult Novels
  2. Children's Picture Books
  3. Children's Poetry
  4. Chapter Books
  5. Board Books
  6. Easy/early readers
  7. A mix of all of the above

I LOVE shopping for books and I will do so with the winner in mind. For those of you who only love Adult novels, sorry you are out of luck...not my thing, you'll have to go shopping on your own. The winner will be announced on Friday! Good luck!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

H is for Hippo, I is for Igloo, J is for...

JERUSHA...my middle name is Jerusha. I am named after my great grandma on my dad's side of the family.

Jerusha Layne was born on Christmas day of 1886 in Lewiston Utah. Her father was a polygamist with two wives so Jerusha was her Mother’s ninth child but her father’s sixteenth.
When Jerusha was only 8 months old her family had to flee Utah to avoid the Edmund's Law that made the practice of Polygamy illegal. She attended school in a one room building that served as school, church and activities center.

At the age of twelve Jerusha’s mother died, leaving Jerusha to do all the household chores for her father and brothers. Less than six weeks later her dad also passed away. Jerusha was diagnosed with Diabetes and at the time there was no known cure. She passed away on August 11, 1911 at the young age of 24. Those who knew her described Jerusha as jovial, attractive and happy.

There are times in my life (like Junior High school) when I hated my middle name. Kids teased me because it was different. Then came high school where it was cool to be different and suddenly my middle name wasn't so bad. When I began cheerleading it seemed that every squad I was on had multiple Amys. My Dad had always called me Amy J. and so it stuck. My cheer buddies at BYU never called me anything else, to this day every Christmas card is still addressed to Amy J and I love it.

As a side note, my parents were actually going to give me Jerusha as a first name but then decided against it. Ummmm, lets see..."Let's name our new daughter Jerusha. No one has ever heard of it, only 1 in a billion girls will have that name and it is about as unusual as you can get!" "No, let's name her Amy, everyone has heard of it, only 1 billion girls will have that name and it is about as usual as you can get!"

As an adult I have received interesting reactions to the name Jerusha. Comments like, "Oh that's interesting" and "I have never heard that name before" are the most popular. There are a few who think it is pretty. I love it, but John is not as convinced as I am that it is a cool name. He was opposed to giving it to Sydney as a middle name so I gave in and to this day that is a decision that I have regretted. It was my idea to give her the middle name Erin (John's middle name is Aaron) and so I will never have a little girl that I can give my beautiful middle name. I can only hope for a granddaughter...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Never Too Old to Pull a Prank!

OK so Grandpa Cazier, who is 82 years old, comes up the stairs this afternoon and tells me that he wants to play a joke on Sydney. Whenever we leave Sydney home with Grandma and Grandpa she ends up in Grandpa's bedroom watching a movie under the covers, eating popcorn. Grandpa claims that she is a pro at cleaning up any mess she makes and that he never finds loose crumbs in the sheets. Last week she got to pick out a prize from the treasure box at school and she picked a rubber alligator. I have found that thing in the bathroom sink, in her laundry hamper and last night Grandpa found it tucked deep in his bed. So he had an idea for a prank and he wanted me to come downstairs and take pictures of the whole thing. Here is how it played out...

Grandma went outside and told Sydney to hurry inside, that her pet alligator had bit Grandpa's finger and it was bleeding real bad...

I think the smell of ketchup gave him away...

Happy Birthday Alicia!

Today is Alicia's Birthday!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

FREE to a Good Home!

I am cleaning out my basement storage room so that I will have space for food storage. If anyone wants a white, wooden high chair it's yours for the taking.

I also have a 0-6 months Boppy brand infant sleeping cuddly. I bought it in desperation when Branson was 5 months and still only sleeping 2 hours at a time. He was too big for it and only used it 2 nights. It was $20 and I don't have the heart to send it to Goodwill if someone else can use it! Ohhh, and it is Memory Foam...Anyone?

If anyone knows someone who is expecting a baby girl in the fall/early winter I have a ginormous bag of 0-12 month girl clothes. They are mostly Gymboree, Baby Gap and Old Navy.

Family Ties

I love pictures of my kids with their cousins.

Anderson helps Owen keep his eye on the ball

Nothing is more "cool" than to see one of my older boys hanging out with the smaller boys. One of my favorite moments as a mom was looking out my kitchen window and seeing Anderson zip around the yard on his four wheeler with Payson in his lap. It took me a few moments to realize that it was Payson who was doing the steering. I should have known by the huge smile on Payson's face and by how slow Anderson was actually going.

I love this picture, but why oh why do my kids have such big heads!

I also love to see my little ones with their "big" cousins. Whether we are at Grandma's, Alicia's or my house Branson is the first person Payson looks for when he comes in. Before running off to play he has to find Branson (sleeping or awake, it doesn't matter), smoother him with kisses, and call him "Brancy."

Audrey so Smiley...Branson the Serious

Although we have yet to get a "great" picture of Audrey and Branson together, I am trying my darndest. When Heather and I were Seniors in High School they asked everyone to turn in their baby pictures. We really wanted to submit a photo of the two of us when we were younger, it made sense...we were always together. We searched for weeks and all we could find was a lousy picture of Heather and another one of our cousins in their carseats and me five feet away crawling off the table. I vowed then and there that my kids would have pictures with their cousins.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Make Way For Ducklings

Heading to the elementary school to pick up Cayden and Sydney I saw a bus swerve a bit as it came toward me from the other direction. Crossing the street directly in front of me, and the bus, was a mother duck and her fuzzy little ducklings.

Argent used to be a calm street with a few cars every now and then, but due to the addition of many homes, Walmart, Lowes, McDonalds and all the other things I love, Argent is now a steady stream of motor vehicles. There wasn't anyone behind me so I stopped to let the little family cross. Most of the ducklings were in direct line of my tire so if I hadn't stepped on the brakes, well you get the picture. As the mom led her babies across several things happened, cars began to line up behind me (ducks don't waddle very fast) and Anderson began yelling, "Where's your camera Mom, hand me your camera!" (He knows I take that thing with me everywhere for just this type of opportunity.) By the time I dug the camera out of my purse the ducks were safely on the other side of the street and the lady behind me was shooting darts out of her eye sockets. With Anderson spouting off choice words of complaint and me snapping "Anderson, they'll be there when we come back! Where are they going to go, there's a fence up and down the whole side of the street!" we headed on down the road.

Of course this totally reminded me of the book Make Way For Ducklings (I always thought it was Make Way For THE Ducklings) anyway, I never liked that book as a child. It had too many words and all the pictures were brown. But I must not have hated it too much since I now own it and it is the first thing I thought of after seeing the ducks cross the street.

After picking up Cayden and Sydney the ducks were indeed still there. They were headed East down the side of the road along a chain link fence. The fence was put up several months ago due to construction of a new high school. I pulled the car over on the opposite side of the road so the kids could watch the ducks and Anderson could get his photos. Driving 3 miles an hour we watched as the ducks followed their mom. One of the ducklings, probably the runt, kept tripping over either little rocks or his feet and he would land on his back his feet spinning in mid air. Sad, but we thought it was pretty funny. After about 1/2 a mile the Mommy duck stopped and all her little chicks sat down and started chirping. The mom began pacing around, looking this way and that. It was then that it dawned on me, she was trying to take her children to the canal on the other side of the fence. Last time she had babies there wouldn't have been a fence, just a direct route to the water. They were almost there, the end of the fence was about 10 feet away from where they were sitting. In the car the kids and I were shouting, "Keep going! You're almost there!" But the mom looked around a few more minutes and then turned her babies around, back the way they came. There was nothing we could do! We were so sad. The only reassurance I had was that later that day when I drove down the road there was no sign of any dead ducks on the pavement. I can only hope the mom found an opening in the fence, somewhere.

So Sunday my brother Ryan told a similar story only his was far more depressing. On the same day that we saw our little family he was driving across the Blue Bridge. A mother duck was guiding her babies OVER the bridge! There were four babies trying to keep up behind her but sadly, Ryan said there were four little squashed babies behind them. People were slowing down and stopping, shocked at what they were wittnessing but like me, what could they do!? So as you're driving around this Spring be sure and stay alert and make way for ducklings.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Got Books?

I have a real problem. I love books. I have 6 large book cases filled to overflowing and even though I have tons that I havn't even had time to read yet...I keep them coming. Barnes and Noble is my Birthday and my kids Scholastic Book Orders...Christmas! I am sure their teachers think I am such a wonderful mother, buying all those books for my kids. But truth is, I rarely let my kids even pick out a book! Sydney would pick out High School Musical 2 The Novel, Cayden Calculator Magic Tricks...and your very own calculator! No really, I let down my gaurd one time and actually let him order that. I think he maybe turned it on, once. Anderson would order yet another Strange but True, Gross Facts to Share with Your Friends. Nine times out of ten I buy kids books with one person in mind...me. I love young adult literature. Pathetically enough, if my kids pick up the book sometime down the road and read it too I consider it a bonus and it's a good way to justify spending even more money on more books! I love young adult literature. I love reading it, talking about it and loaning it out. I even have a "check out" book where I keep track of each book that has been borrowed from my library. I get a thrill when people call me to see if a book is appropriate for their child or to get my advice on their next "good read." I think I need to get out more.