Friday, October 31, 2008


Tonight for Halloween, we crashed the Bayfield Ward's trunk-or-treat! I didn't really decorate the back of our car, but I sat in the back and played my ukulele. The kids all wore the same things they wore Wednesday to our ward party. Gabe dressed up as a boxer because I told him he couldn't get any candy unless he dressed up! He is too old to admit he wants to do what the little kids do, but too young to resist the lure of gobs of free candy! Trunk-or-treats are an extremely efficient method of candy collecting. My kids had tons in about 15 minutes. All of the children go around and around until all of the trunks are out of treats.
Jebb told me that if I was a hula girl I needed to shake!
Curiously, he went around checking under everyone's cars with his glow stick! I think he is too cute.

It was a fun night! We love seeing our Bayfield friends! Thanks for letting us crash the party!

I boated

This morning after dropping off the 4 older kids for school, Jebb and I headed to the courthouse to vote. Today is the last day for early voting in Colorado, and I didn't want to wait. We got there at about 7:40a and were 3rd in line. By 8:00a when voting opened, there were about 40 people in line. The workers said they have had a line down the hall all week! I am so glad I got that done! I think it is beyond important for every American to excercise this amazing right.

I got this cool "I Voted" sticker.
When we left, Jebb asked where we were going now. When I told him we needed to go to the office to sign some papers before heading home, he was NOT happy. Apparently he was under the impression the whole morning that I was taking him BOATING!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ghosts of Halloween Past

Since I am 9 years behind on scrapbooking, I decided to post some old Halloween pics from this computer so they could make it into the book I will one day 'slurp' my blog into.

Halloween 2000-Fred Flintstone, Barney, and Pebbles. I made these costumes myself. I was inspired by the fact that I was living in a gravel pit (Fred was a gravel guy). I couldn't remember what Pebbles wore, but I found her pic on the vitamin bottle. Nice paper bone I taped to Elise's head.

Halloween 2001-We had just gone to Disney World a few weeks before this. We bought these costumes there. I only convinced Gabe to be Peter Pan by letting him have a plastic sword and dagger. Seth actually won a costume contest that year. I was Tiger Lilly and John was a Pirate. This is the only year I got him to dress up. Maybe I just need to do a pirate theme for him to paricipate?

Halloween 2002-This is when both wards put on the first big party. I knew I would be manning the 'swamp booth' so I dressed as a country cousin. This was also the year Sam's Club carried these awesome furry costumes. They were super cheap and well made (we still use them as you can tell from future pics). This was the first year we didn't go as a united theme. Each kid got to pick out their own fuzzy costume. I never should have given them that taste of freedom-they wanted to do their own thing ever after. I still check Sam's each year to see if they get more of these costumes in...

Halloween 2003-The boys saw these Super-hero costumes in Wal-Mart. Elise didn't want to be a super hero-but Barbie had just come out with a new DVD and they had not only the costume, but the wig too. Someone gave us the lion suit for Jackson?? I wrote 'GRRRR' on his face. Poor guy. John misses having hair.

Halloween 2004-We sorta had a theme...'last minute costumes.' We waited til the final hour and the stores were cleaned out of most costumes-just stuff like ninjas were left. I got Gabe to dress as a cowboy by letting him wear John's hat. Jackson had no choice of course (love those chaps though!). Seth was a ninja and Elise was Kim Possible with messy orange hair spray stuff (I loved this costume but sadly, no-one knew who she was).

Halloween 2005-This was such a fun year. I took the kids over to Page for Halloween. Gabe reused Superman, Seth traded his Ninja for Corbin's Jedi. Elise was the right size for the furry monkey. As for Jackson and newly born Jebb?? I have no idea!!! I don't know why I don't have them in any pictures, but I don't! I remember pushing a stroller...? Nicole had the fun idea to dress up as Housewives. Page is super fun place to trick-or-treat and this was actually the first real trick-or-treating my kids had done (how pathetic!). The whole town goes around in the afternoon while the sun is still up. It is so cool because you get to see everyone in their costumes. Very neighborly! We loved it. They had a carnival in the city park where (fun factoid) they have the largest jack-o-lantern display in the state. The kids had SO much fun!
Update: Nic found a pic of Jackson wearing the fuzzy alligator and we think Jebb (@ 4mo. old) was Yoda!  Why do I not have pictures?!

Halloween 2006- We enjoyed the door to doorness so much last year that we decided to trick-or-treat in Bayfield. Our friends the Kennedys live there so we went in their neighborhood. Jackson and Jebb are crocodile/dragon/lizards. Gabe and Seth were football players and Elise was once again the fuzzy monkey. I got out my bathrobe and revisited my inner housewife.

Halloween 2007-Elise had enough of the fuzzy monkey costume and decided she wanted to be a witch this year. Lanae loaned me some cool socks, so I got some purple toile and tied it on for my costume. Seth was a football player...again. I pulled out the Fred and Barney costumes for Jackson and Jebb. I loved Gabe's costume of a boxer-he wasn't excited about it because he wanted to be a football player but didn't have the gear.

It is always fun to dress up and beg for candy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween Party

This year we had a ward party on Wednesday night.  It was in the gym and there was a chili dinner and games like the cake walk.  Seth the football player (that is the 3rd year in a row) helped run the music.  Jebb the crocodile won chocolate cupcakes...and didn't wait to eat them.

Elise the powder puff football player competed in the 'blow the spider down the floor with a straw' game.

Gabe the tween (didn't want to dress up) challenged me to the same game after eating his doughnut-I whipped him! Flattering shot of me there...

I saw Sarah Palin there and John overate. Jackson (Superman) shows me his muscles.

It was a fun party. This is the best attended activity every year-hands down. Everyone comes! I don't know why I think that is weird. :) There wasn't any trick-or-treating this year, but I am OK with that-we usually have candy overload by now!

Off Campus Calls

When I attended Rick's College (that tells you how old I am-it was still called Rick's College) oh so long ago, I lived my first year in the dorm. Our phones were all tied into the campus network. To call out of our campus bubble, you had to have a special code. If someone called you from anywhere else on campus (like dorm dudes or calls from buildings), your phone would "RING." If someone called from outside the campus perimeter (like cool apartment dwelling RM's or your parents), your phone would "RING RING." Therefore, when we got one ring, we were never in a rush to answer. But oh the double ring...we would yell "Off Campus" and all of us pathetic coeds would race for the phone. You knew it was just going to be a more interesting phone call.

As I have gotten older I have grown less enthusiastic about answering my phone. If I am busy, I think it is perfectly appropriate to let my answering machine get the phone. Oddly, I think Durango has a phone system similar to my beloved Rick's College. My phone "RING"s for local calls and "RING RING"s when it is long distance. When I hear the double ring, I still think "Off Campus" in my mind. Sadly, caller ID in Durango is still stuck in the last century. My phone rarely shows who is calling when I get the double ring. Still, it is the double ring that could mean my sisters or a far-off friend is calling and I often take the chance and answer the phone.

The elections have messed all of that up. Phone surveys and recorded messages also give the "RING RING" and I am astounded at the volume of calls I have been getting. They are certainly coming more frequently as we close in on Nov. 4th. Sadly, this has caused me to hang up on people I really do want to talk to. Just this afternoon, Kim (my sis) called. When she didn't speak instantly after I said hello, I immediately hung up. I didn't learn it was her until she called right back. Oops. What is up with all of the recorded messages anyway? I am so turned off by the fact that they are obviously trying to scare me about the evil liberals of the world. Honestly, their biased rhetoric is so off-putting! Granted, liberals do give me the willies on a lot of social issues, but come on! And why do they have to call right when all the kids get home from school or when we are sitting down for dinner? And how do they know I am conservative? I don't ever get calls from Barack or Nancy Pelosi.

Maybe next election cycle I will sign up on some far-left web sights that will put me on the call list for liberal. I would be curious to see how they talk up the evil far-right-winger! That would be much more interesting and worthy of the attention that the "RING RING" commands. Although, maybe it will end up being more like the off-campus call you get from the weird guy that lives somewhere in Rexburg with his parents...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Eating my Words

Today I took the 4 older kids to appointments at the dentist. It just so happens that my good friend Lanae is married to our dentist. Lanae just had knee surgery and I get to bring her family dinner tonight. So as I sat in the waiting room, I decided to call and see what she wanted for dinner. Since Elise was also waiting and since she had no cavities, I let her call from my cell phone (my kids LOVE to use a cell phone but never use our regular phone-weird). As I listened to Elise's side of the conversation, I realized my words from a few days prior were coming back to haunt me.

On Sunday, I had prepared what I thought was a delightful chicken salad dinner with zesty cilantro dressing. Apparently, I was the only on in my family that thought so. Everyone picked and mumbled-even John! I actually busted him giving Gabe advice on reheating pizza leftovers mere minutes from dinner being complete! Oh the betrayal!

That very day I swore off cooking FOREVER! We would just go out to eat every night for the rest of our lives. Easy. We would meet at the garage door at 5:30 then walk hand-in-hand from the door to the car, and smile pleasantly as we drove to whatever restaurant satisfied our fancy. Then happily we would converse over the restaurant table about our glorious day while we ate our restaurant food. Each child would be well fed and happy and I would be freed from the burden of dinnertime rejection (not to mention dishes). It was a glorious and seemingly workable plan.

Later that same night, I took some brownies I had baked to Lanae's house. I was coming to see her after surgery, but self-centerd guest that I am, I quickly shifted the topic of conversation to my new dinner plans. With as much semtimantality as I could muster, I told her these brownies were the last thing that would ever be produced in my kitchen, as I now had rendered kitchens obsolete in my new world. She smiled pleasantly and took the brownies with grace and gratitude.

So here I am now, Tuesday morning, dentist office waiting room. Elise is on the phone with my recently operated-on friend. Elise said, " Yes, she said she wants to make you dinner." Pause "No, she likes baking again." At this point Elise looked at me with huge eyes, raised eyebrows, and an uplifted hand as if to ask if I did indeed like baking again...???? Sweet Elise, way to cover for me! :)

So now I am eating my words. I was throwing a little domestic tantrum and took the liberty of pouting to Lanae (she had no choice but to listen to me-she can't walk away-literally!). Now I sat sheepishly tasting my words. Not so good. Luckily, Lanae knows I am a little emotional and a little goofy! Elise hung up and said she surmised that Lanae would like homemade pizza. So pizza it is. With the whole 'dinner in a pumpkin' thing last night, and pizza tonight, I guess I have to admit that the whole 'swearing off cooking' thing may have been a bit of an overreaction to my Sunday dinner woes.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Night of the Pumpkin

We started the night off with an unusual meal I saw on another blog. It is a casserole baked in a pumpkin. It looks very scary (it's almost Halloween, right?) but my kids actually loved it! They all ate it and all had seconds-that's a Halloween miracle!

It had hamburger, half an onion, & garlic salt cooked in a skillet. Then I added Cream of Chic, Cof Mushroom, can of corn, and Minute Rice-Mixed together, put in the pumpkin and baked on a cookie sheet, 1 hour @ 350 degrees. You can eat the pumpkin too.

Maybe my kids just need weird presentation (??). I actually grew this pumpkin!!
We continued the pumpkin theme throughout the night. What else do you do the Monday before Halloween?! :) Hank came over too!

I am grateful for pumpkin tools. Seriously, how did we clean out the guts before having that little gut-scraping tool?

Pumpkins are fun to carve. Back in college, I carved a honeydew instead of a pumpkin. I thought I was so clever. It started rotting very soon. I guess that is why we carve gourds instead of melons.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The McCain Rally

Tonight we went to the McCain rally at Durango High School. We ended up taking the whole family and I am really glad we did! The last time a Presidential candidate came to our town was in 1960 when JFK came for the Colorado Democratic Convention which happened to be held here. This makes tonight's meeting quite historic for our little town.

Main Street was CRAZY!! Obama supporters were encouraged to come line the street with signs, and many did come out. We saw lots of people that we knew since we had to park quite a distance away. We thought we got there plenty early, but when we arrived, we stood in a line that stretched and snaked all around a field. It was easily over a mile long. I didn't get any pics that did it justice.
The boys played football while we wound back and forth. We moved along fairly well and it still took us 1 1/2 hours to get to the football field! We saw even more people we knew in the lines to get into the rally.
Jebb got tired of standing in line after about 10 minutes!

The Obama supporters were so loud and extreme that if I were undecided, I would really have a hard time knowing that if I voted for Obama, these are the people I would be standing with. I know protesters are typically going to be 'fringe' types, but they certainly didn't do their candidate any favors.

My cool friend Patty was workin' the line.

Lots of security!! They actually let our motley crew in!

There were a TON of people in the stadium.
We arrived at the same time McCain (in the blue blazer) and his wife (in the green blazer) arrived. They are very blurry-oops. We missed the first hour of speakers. Perfect timing.

We listened and cheered at the appropriate times. I admit I don't think John McCain is very exciting, but it was really fun to be there! The people inside the stadium were much more pleasant than all of the protesters outside! After a while, the kids laid on the track.

We stood in line longer than it took to listen to McCain speak. :) We walked back to the car and decided to hit Subway. Jackson sports the pin we bought from some guy in line.

Was it worth it? I think so. I think this is something our kids will remember for a long time. This elections has given us the opportunity to talk about lots of issues. I want them to take an interest in the leadership of our country. I am really glad we could be a part of history playing out.

Relief Society Dinner

We had a RS dinner here last night. I think I am the only one gullible enough to say 'yes' when they are looking for a place to have it! :) But is does get me to clean the house really good! The dinner was SO yummy-I am going to find the recipe and post it. There were several speakers and it was really nice. We have some wonderful women in our ward and it's nice to rub shoulders.

A few thoughts from the night from our sweet speakers:
"We should give each other the benefit of the doubt. Charity is expecting the best of each other."
"Continue to date your husband so that when you are alone you will still like being together."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

That was weird

This morning I had a hair appointment with the crazy eyed Italian. Jebb and the Nintendo joined me. At the the salon, the other men told us he was late, so Jebb and I walked downtown to get a snack. We stopped in a coffee shop where the girl behind the counter asked if I was John Gilleland's wife. Yes. She was the daughter of an old classmate of his. The last time I saw her she was 8 or 9. She is now in college. I told her she could lie and tell me she was in 6th grade so I wouldn't feel so old. She obliged. We got our cookie and cocoa and sipped out in the sunshine.

Jebb was really good once we returned and my hair appt commenced. I got colored and cut. I am a little freaked out my how much platinum blonde (ie grey) hair I have on the crown of my head. I am going to have to go light here pretty soon. Jebb posed while I processed. By the time we finished, it was lunch time and John called to see if we wanted to meet him. Silly question.

Jebb and I walked to our favorite lunch place, Tequila's. They have really great fajitas. I must go there a lot because several of the waiters know us on a first name basis. Most of them don't speak English very well and I always wish I had done better in Spanish class in high school. There was a new guy that sat Jebb and I. He asked me something and although he was speaking English, I couldn't really understand him (I think I need hearing aids by the way). I told him we wanted a Sprite and a Dr. Pepper. that seemed to be what he was looking for. He then asked me something else that I couldn't make out. I told him John was just parking his car and would be right here. He spoke some more. This was getting really embaressing. I asked him to repeat himself. No dice. I still couldn't understand him. I asked him if he wanted to take our order (I know what John always orders too, and I wanted to seem interested in what he was saying...) or just wait. He nodded. Yes, he wanted to take our order? Yes, he wanted to wait? It seemed he was experiencing the same language barrier I was. I went ahead and ordered. I tried to smile like I wasn't totally confused.

I guess it worked. He took the menus with a nod and a half smile, and our drinks showed up in short order. Jebb and I munched on yummy chips and salsa. John arrived. Then, happily, our food arrived. Our order was just right. Jebb only spilled my Sprite once and the majority missed his clothing. Always a plus. I told John about my lack of understanding with the waiter. Seeing our order, he agreed that he must have understood me. Our lunch was non-eventful after the spill, and I loved eating out with my boyfriend.

John gave our waiter his debit card and we gathered up our coats to leave. Our waiter returned to us, but he was not alone. He had several other waiters in a little mob. Our waiter placed a flan with whipped cream in front of John. At the same time, another waiter put a big sombrero on John's head. They started singing (and I use that term loosely) a song in Spanish while our waiter reached down to the dessert and got some whipped cream which he then smeared on John's nose and cheeks!!!! The song ended and the waiters heartily yelled "Happy Birthday!" in unison!! I decided to go with it and yelled "Happy Birthday!"

I think I had a wide-eyed stare the entire song (especially during the whole whipped cream smearing part) but I had the presence of mind to grab my camera. I got a shot off as the waiter was taking back the sombrero. After wiping off his face, John looked at me and I held his gaze for a couple of seconds, then we both just started laughing out loud!! John's birthday is in March, mine is in September, and Jebb's is in June. ??? I still am wondering what that waiter asked me. Typically, when I am not sure what people are saying, I often rely on the old 'Smile and Nod.' So I'm not sure what I communicated, but it got us a song and a free flan! Once we stopped laughing, I told John, "That was weird!" He smiled and said, "Now you can blog about our lunch!"