Monday, March 31, 2008

Tagggered...AGAIN!!!

K, I've been tagged from EVERYONE's blogs, so...here goes, ya dingdongs:

1. My rock star name (first pet and current car): Katie Odyssey
2. My gangsta name (favorite candy bar and favorite cookie): Snickers Sugar
3.My "brotha" name (first initial of first name and first three letters of last name: S'Eas
4.My detective name (favorite color and favorite animal): Purple Kitten
5. My soap opera name (first name and city where you were born): Allison Bountiful
6. My Star Wars name (first three letters of your last name and first two letters of your first name then the word "of" then a medication you are on): Eas Al of Ibuprofen
7. My superhero name (2nd favorite color and favorite drink with "The" in front): The Black Slurpee
8. My Nascar name (first names of your grandfathers): Rae Alex G.
9. My stripper name (name of your favorite perfume/cologne and your favorite candy): Lucky You Redvines
10. My witness-protection name (mother's and father's middle names): Riley Baker Rae

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Happy Sweet 16 Tiffany

We love you, our sweet little fluffy baby chicken,

Mom and Daddy



Dear Tiffany,

You are a good sister. I love when you dance around in the family room, and thank you for doing my laundry for me. You always make me laugh too.

Happy Birthday!

Love, Casey




ITS YOUR BUT DAY YOUR A GOOD SISTER KEEP ON DANCING AND SOMETIMES BEEING FUNNY

LOVE JONAH




Tiffany,

you are such a good example for me.Thank you for making your friends my friends, and for showing me that its cool to go to seminary and to be a girl. I really do look up to you even when we fight sometimes. Thanks for dancing "too big" and for dry heaving at the dance festival. Oh and thanks for dancing with me in our family room all the time. Oh and thanks for sharing all your clothes with me. ♥ ya,

Mackenzie



Tiffany,

Thank you for being a good sister. Thank you for taking care of me in the mornings when mom works on the computer for her pictures. Thank you for watching Dr. Phil with me and for watching YouTube videos with me. Also, thanks for always going to Disneyland with me.

Love,

Harper


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I KEN LEE!!! ILL LIBBO DIBBO DOUSHOO!!!

If I could have one song at my reception, it would be this one. Please do enjoy Bulgarian Idol's very own...Valentina Hasan as she sings the song now made famous...Ken Lee.

(don't forget to watch it all the way through, and please do read the subtitles. I'd love to sing it all for you in person, but since I live here, I cannot. I guess the jus the gway the story go.)


Monday, March 24, 2008

YIP.

Spring break was always something I looked forward to and then as soon as it came, it was over. My kids started their spring break today, and luckily for them, it goes for two whole weeks. My goals for us these next few weeks is as follows:

  1. get the entire house cleaned
  2. laundry all done
  3. every morning before we "go outside" to play, pick up so that the house stays relatively clean while they're gone.
My house has a tendency to get trashed during the day, which only leaves me and Tiff to clean up after the kids all go to bed. Often, I'm just starting the dishwasher at midnight, and I'm over it. The routine that I've faithfully stuck with for the last year goes down the tubes when they're all home from school, so these next few weeks I'm playing the part I'm often cast in..."Mean Mom". I always get cast as that part because I'm the one raising these kids, plus I rock it so well. It seems to suit me.

Anyway, we're planning on doing things around here because it's a) cheap and b) easy. Thankfully, the beach and the mountains are so close, we'll hit those two places a few times I'm sure, plus our Disneyland passes are blacked out til next Monday, so next week will be our Disneyland week! Good stuff!

Anyway, do you love that card Mackenzie and Tiff made below? The grammar (apostrophe in "Easley's") was cute, so I left it.

Oh and Tiff's going to be 16 in 3 days. Geez.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

It Came So Early This Year...

Today Mackenzie spoke in Sacrament Meeting. It was really amazing to hear her give a talk she prepared all by herself, and then to hear her bear her sweet testimony. There are few things in this life better than to see your own children express their deep love for the Saviour. She and Tiffany got to go to Youth Conference this weekend and they had an absolute blast. I love that my girls have testimonies, and that they love this gospel so much.

We're going to spend the day with Grandma and Grandpa Easley and Aunt Aimee, and as we do, we're going to share with them the story of Easter, as told by our kids. Its so nice to have kids who not only know the true meaning of this holiday, but who are also so willing to share it with their loved ones.

Today is a special day for the world. It reminds us all of the sacrifice of the Saviour, and for his resurrection. I find special comfort in knowing that we can all live again after our bodies are put in the ground because our elder brother died for us. How amazing is it to know that as one person we love passes on, they can live again with us. We taught our primary class about this today, and it was really cute to see these sweet 8 year olds REALLY grasp the concept. One little girl, Brinley, she actually gasped when she "got" it. It made me cry... We love those dang kids.

Anyway, Happy Easter to you all from the Easley's. We love you, we miss you and we will see you all soon!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cloze N'Shiz

Yesterday was supposed to be spent in the morning shopping, getting ready for FHE that night with the Horspools, and then shooting Amber's "Trash The Dress" session with me, but that didn't happen. Harper decided he was going to throw up, and this delighted me to no end. Apparently it was a 24 hour bug because today he is on fire! Anyway, I went to the D.I. to find props for my shoots, and ended up coming home with a cool chair that I have to paint and a sweet old timey suit case. Fabulous! All for less than $10! STEAL!

Anyway, so inside of the suitcase was this old, brown leather Adidas bag. It's no secret that we love free things. I'm all about picking things up off the sidewalk when people leave them out for the trash, and putting them in my car or stroller and then collecting all the junk and then taking it everywhere I go...ok so I just realized I'm a baglady. But I digress, so this Adidas bag, we'll call him "Adidas Bag" just for convenience, anyway, Adidas Bag was sitting on the counter this morning with a white 3"x5" card resting on top. Mike likes to leave me notes on cards on random days with random thoughts for no reason at all. I enjoy this habit, very very much, I'm not going to lie to ya. Plus, they're not secret notes...so that's why I'll share the one I got today with you. It said this:

I can use this bad boy for my temple cloze.

Now, if you're wondering, he didn't spell "clothes" wrong by accident, he did it because he and I...well...we like to talk the ghetto talk. We like to pretend we're from the streets, that's how we roll. We like to explore the fact that he's half black. Plus, he's half Korean and um have you ever seen those Asian gangs? FIERCE!

So I'm going to shoot Tiffany's 16th birthday shots today, if I can find somewhere to drag the Harper to. He's never been left with anyone except Mike's mom twice, and the rest of the time, he's with our kids. So...we'll see. I don't even know where to look.

Oh and yesterday, I shot Amber's TrashTheDress shots (for my portfolio) and I forced her to hitch hike with my new suitcase in her hands...and you can't imagine how many people stopped just to stare and/or offer help. They'd yell out "Hey! Bride! You need a ride beeotch!?" (they really didn't say beeotch, I'm just bein' street again) and then they'd see me crawling on my stomach on the street behind the car taking shots with my big fat telephoto lens and they'd say "Nevermind" and leave.

The end.


(you can see the set so far from that particular shoot HERE)

Monday, March 17, 2008

I Want To Pull My Face Off

Ok so let me tell you why really quickly. First of all, in a past relationship, I was never allowed to buy furniture or nice things (except a set of couches that I begged for for my anniversary+birthday+christmas one year, and they were garbage...) and although Mike is a sweet boy who would allow me the treat of doing so, we're white trash. So there you have my first dilemma.

Secondly, I want to redo my house totally in the stuff that I love, the stuff that I have always loved. If you're wondering what that style is...just go to West Elm and check out pretty much anything there. I want a tv stand/buffet table, an armless sectional, the mirrors for the walls...basically everything that looks mid-century modern. I do. I do so freakin bad.

Anyway, I'm about to start throwing everything I have away, except for our mattresses, the dressers, our clothes and a few basic kitchen things. I think we'll just get LoveSacs for the next place. Or maybe we'll keep this awesome, yet unwieldy sectional from my mom and dad. Who knows...

...maybe we'll just live in a huge tent. Those don't cost that much do they?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

It's Riley's birthday today!

Riley, I remember the day you were born. I was so nervous for your mom, and she was having you so early...I remember praying most of that day, first for the safety of you and your mom, and then praying in gratitude for such a healthy but tiny little nephew. You were my first "blood" nephew, and I was so excited that Jonah would have a little cousin so close in age to play with.


I took baby Jonah up to visit you when your mom brought you home and the first thing I noticed was your eyes. You'd focus on my face and just stare. I couldn't believe how much you looked like your mom. Even your expressions were just so "her".



Even when you were a toddler, you could sense your intelligence. You'd flip through your little books, babbling away at the words like you were reading the most interesting story. You loved to look at the pictures and point, and I remember one time laughing as you pointed to an animal, and then pronounced it "Daddy"!!! I laughed and laughed because well...your dad...he is kind of an animal. How wise you were Riley.




Your sense of humor has never let us down. You could make tiny Jackson laugh like no other! I remember tiny Casey and Jackson watching you and Jonah jump into the pool at the condo, and you were so unafraid. You and Jonah were being so silly, and it was apparent then that you had an awesome sense of humor!




Riley, you're such a good example. Your cousins look up to you, even the ones who are older than you. You're so sweet, and always willing to fill us in on any fact we don't quite know. You're a funny guy, Riley Curtis...and we love you!

Happy Birthday!!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Guess What You Hot Messes...

mmkay...nnnnnnnnnnnnnot so sure how many of you watched the real show but it was fabulous, as usual, and we all know that I love my favorite tranny Christian Siriano. Here for you guys, I'm posting a tribute to his fiercest moments. Beware, it's 9 minutes long but omg, you guys, he's the bomb diggity.

Peace out, trannies.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Breakin' da law...breakin' da law...

Here's an inspirational poster for ya:



And to see a few pages of pictures of Taylor and Mandy and the boys, click HERE.
(click the picture below once, then once again to see it full size)


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Things I'm Looking For:

K, so one of my shoots I have coming up next week needs a few things. If anyone has any of these, let me know:

  • old size 2-4 wedding dress (we will NOT be getting it dirty)
  • tutus! (any size, even little girls...actually especially little girls)
  • lace up ballet shoes (toe shoes)
  • old prom dress in size 2-4
  • cowboy boots in size 6-8 (womens)
  • ribbon (any kind, color, size)
  • lace tablecloth
If you do...Email me here! (click)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Tree Frogs And Orange Groves

Last Saturday night, Mike and I got the kids all in their jammies, made them all popcorn and put on some movies, and we headed out the door to the temple. We're so lucky to live close because we left at 7:10 for the 7:30 session, and we were there and dressed by 7:20! Seriously, how blessed are we to be so close? Anyway, after the session was over, we headed outside to an empty parking lot. As we were leaving, all of the workers were leaving too, and we saw some friends of ours who work there. They mentioned for us to take a whiff.



Now if you've never been to the Redlands Temple, it is kind of tucked up on the side of a mountain, completely surrounded on all sides but one with orange groves. Huge expansive orange groves. I inhaled the most incredible smell of citrus! It was like I was on Soarin' it was so strong! I walked down to our car, the stars sparkling above us and just was so thankful that I have the priviledge to live so close to a temple. The night was so clear and the tree frogs were chirping, I could hardly stand it. I just felt the most amazing peace, comfort and gratitude for my life as it is.

We went to church the next day and really had a spectacular day until later in the evening when the kids had to make some phone calls. We try to get prepared for those moments with the kids as they have a tendency to get off the phone and be in a horrible mood. Mike talked to them for a while after the calls, and we asked the boys and Tiffany why they didn't want to talk, and they just shrugged.

It's getting harder and harder to make these kids have contact with certain people. I think it's important that they do, it's important that they keep a close relationship with their other family members, but how the heck do I force them? Mackenzie talks reluctantly because she feels obligated, but after 10 minutes of the other people crying about how horrible life is because of their mom (me), Mackenzie is even forced to get off the phone. Last night, she kept coming into the room where I was and mouthing the words "Help me". It's not because they're bad kids, but because every phone call is some news about how these kids should feel like crap because they somehow are the reason that some people won't come and visit. Believe me, I try to play it down, saying things like "oh they're busy" or "oh, work probably prevents the visits" but they are big old kids now and they know exactly what's going on. They keep track of how long it's been, and it's become a game now. If I didn't know better, I'd say they were making wagers on how many months it will be in between visits. At this point in time, it's been 7 months...and counting. Jonah and Casey laugh and can tell you how many days (203) since they've seen their other family. Actually, that's just one person. Anyway, they can tell you more, but I'm trying to stay out of this.

Don't get me wrong, they're not trying to whine about it, they're not obsessed with it, but every few weeks or so at dinner or whatever, one of them will say "203" or whaetver the number is, and they'll giggle and say "nice..." or something like that. Thankfully I have resilient kids. They're fiery, their righteous, they're loving and they're being blessed right now. Our house is happy, our family is so close, the 7 of us, it seems sometimes, our circle can't be broken down. We're certainly not being blessed monitarily, but as far as family wealth goes, I'm the Bill Gates of Yucaipa!

Moral of the story:

The greatest investment you can ever make is into the relationship you have with your children.

As time goes on, what will I value? What will these sacrifices Mike and I make do for our future? Will we be lonely old grandparents who cry because our kids never come visit? Will we be sitting in church one Primary Program Sunday watching our grandkids sing and give their talks? See, when you really sit down and tally up the pros and cons to the sacrifice it takes to be a "PARENT"... there really is no choice...is there...

Friday, March 7, 2008

Motrin + Me = BFF's

Dude, my house smells like garlic for no reason. So strongly in fact, that it's burning my throat. I ain't playin' witcha. It's horrible. We have searched the joint and come up empty handed. Weird, I know.

Oh and guess what...

Harper = 102.4°
Tiffany = 102.1°


still? STILL. When does this crap end? I ain't going to lie to ya, people...I need a nap.

also, thank you to all our awesome friends who have called to check in. you know how we loves ya!

That being said...it's freakin gorgeous here. Weather perfection. If I had the body, I'd totally be wearing booty shorts all around my backyard for the plum blossoms to admire. You know you're jealous.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I Want To Blog...

I need to blog, but right now, I am knee deep in a sticky pool of stress, midway through the book "How To Fake Being A-OK! To Everyone You Know!", and just polishing off my second box of "Chocolate Covered Panic".

I will return.

Soon.

I'm sure of it.

I think.

In the mean time, enjoy my latest shoot, The Johnson Family (click the link to see them all)

Oh and for your immediate viewing pleasure...I give you:

Taylor, catching a ball thrown by Jonah at Petco Field (click to see it larger)