Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

This is our last costumed post of the Halloween season. It seems like Halloween gets stretched out for a week or two each year. That's not a bad thing...except for the obscene amounts of candy and sugar my kids ingest for what ends up being a steady month.

I took these pics at the ward Trunk-or-Treat which I was really looking forward to. Rural living has it's advantages, but trick-or-treating is not one of them. I was glad too that this activity was both Durango wards combined. I really enjoy seeing our friends from all over town.

Jackson (on the right), the Hulk, with 2 boys in his Primary class
Gabe the dirtbiker is getting a little old for this... but he shamelessly collected the most candy
Elise (middle) is again a football player. I think she just likes putting mascara under her eyes. She is with her best friends that she wishes were her sisters. ;)
Seth (left) waited until the last possible minute to decide on this snowboarder get-up
My little monster Jebb in the fuzzy alligator costume-he had serious hood-hair and chocolate lips. I love it!

This person is not one of my children, but she had the best costume-I just had to post it. She is a pineapple farmer with her latest crop. Adorable!

It was great to mingle with dear friends and beg for candy. I love seeing all of the creative costumes people come up with. We had such a good time and got so much candy that we decided we didn't even need to trick-or-treat (I was quite shocked my kids went for that). We went home and watched Transformers after drinking some homemade rootbeer (I am still rockin' the dry ice)! Overall a great evening! Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The FHE Before Halloween

What do you do on the Monday night before Halloween? Well, you start with drinking some yummy potion (isn't dried ice so fun?!) for dinner.

Then you carve up some pumpkins! It's best to let dad scoop out the guts first...

Here's my pumpkin--it's a mummy....get it? mummy? Mommy? Oh, never mind. :/
What a fun night we had! It was really great to spend the evening together. It seems like we run around so much, I am very grateful for the wisdom of the Family Home Evening program. Thanks John for scooping out all of those guts.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Annual Fall Carnival

This evening was the annual Fall Carnival at the elementary school. It was a lot of fun! Thanks for helping me work the 'ring toss' Seth. :) There were games in different classrooms as well as cake walks, food, silent auctions, and bouncy castles. It's a great fundraiser for the school and a good time for all of us!


I knew boys that were involved in wrestling when I was in High School. I got the impression they were fairly extreme. They were always working out and starving themselves. I even went to a match or two. I did NOT love the outfits. Singlets, funny headgear... I just didn't really get it.

Flash forward to a week and a half ago. Gabe's football season had just ended and the coaches convinced him to go out for wrestling. I was not excited. John, on the other hand, seemed WAY excited. He offered to take Gabe that very night to go buy some wrestling shoes. Crud. I wanted to mull it over for a few days before we committed. I wanted a break from sports, at least a few weeks until basketball started up. But as any sports mom would recognize, when you buy the shoes, you are in for the season. So I did what any mature mother of 5 would do. I refused to talk about it. I put on a chilly smile anytime the subject came up. I picked Gabe up from practice and all, but I was not one bit fun or pleasant when my husband would try to chat me up about it.

I was still asleep when John delivered Gabe to the bus at 6:15am. Today was Gabe's first ever wrestling match, and it happened to be a multi-school tournament in Ignacio. Gabe had only been practicing for 4 days, so I wasn't expecting much, but he called us after his first match and had won. He was pretty excited. This Saturday also happens to be the DHS Homecoming football game so John took Seth and Elise to that. It was up to me to take the little guys out to John's old stomping grounds to cheer for Gabe. As we were preparing to leave, Gabe called again. He had wrestled again, and once again, he had won!

I thought I'd better hustle before we missed the whole thing. We cruised out to Ignacio and after Jebb rode the Bobcat out front of the HS,
we went in to see this:

What in the world?! There were lots of football parents that I recognized in the crowd and several of the fathers came over to me excitedly to see what I thought of the whole wrestling thing. I was like a deer in the headlights. They told me how terrific wrestling was for the boys and gave their hearty approval with Gabe's decision to compete. I smiled and tried to cheer for our team, but I still felt quite disoriented.

I learned that wrestling has 3 periods in each match. The boys wrestle and earn points for different things throughout the match. If you 'pin' your opponent at any point in the match, you win. Gabe won a couple of matches by points, but managed to pin 2 boys. I was amazed. He went on to win 4 and lose 1 match throughout the day. John, Seth, and Elise managed to catch his last match and it was a good one-he pinned his opponent in about 20 seconds!

Gabe ended up winning second place in his weight class! How fun! I certainly felt proud of seeing him work so hard.

When John was watching all of the team wrestle, he told me how much he loved wrestling. He kinda laughed and said he was getting emotional watching those boys work so hard. He just loves the idea that it is a sport where 'it's all you' and there is no one there to help you. You just have to dig deep. I guess John wrestled from a very young age up until 9th grade and he says he was pretty good. :) It is certainly very manly-- even if they do have to wear weird outfits.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Why I Shouldn't Cut My Own Hair

This last week or two my hair has really been bugging me. It was in need of a good trim. I felt this same way years and years ago. I was pregnant with Gabe and I convinced John to cut my hair for me. When I looked in the mirror I burst into tears and John (wisely) has refused to cut my hair ever since. As much as I tried, I couldn't convince John to just give me a minor trim. If I were a normal and clever girl, this would be the time that I would pick up the phone and make an appointment with a professional stylist. But alas, I am neither normal nor clever especially when it comes to affairs of the hair.

I saw a picture of Heidi Klum, supermodel, a while back and I really liked her hair. This isn't the exact pic, but you can get the idea. Bob-ish with some layers. I already had the layers, so I decided to try do the bob-ish part myself. I am pretty good at trimming the back of my hair with a mirror, I got it fairly straight.

When it was all said and done, I really didn't look like Heidi Klum (shocking, I know!). I didn't look like Heidi Klum, but I thought there was some celebrity I looked like...I just couldn't quite put my finger on who it was.

And then today, as I walked though the family room while my kids were watching the Disney Channel it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was not a famous super model I looked like, but instead, it was this MAN!

OK, I might have the date a little off. I don't have an Achy Breaky Mullet. I might not be a professional hairdresser, but I am not THAT bad.

But as I walked past that TV tuned to Hannah Montana, I casually glanced at the screen when I stopped dead in my tracks.

Frozen to the ground.


Yes it's true, although he has better highlights and a soul patch, my hair looks remarkably like Billy Ray Cyrus.

Here's the proof... you be the judge.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rachel Ray, Your Job is Safe

Tonight John was gone with the big boys so I was left to figure out what to make for dinner for our small group of 4. I suggested that boring, old standby-spaghetti-but got unanimously voted down. Instead, the kids wanted that cheap, white trash cousin of spaghetti--Mac and Cheese.

For some reason, M&C is NOT a food and I feel comfortable having for a main meal. It's not that we don't have any M&C, in fact we buy it in bulk. It just doesn't seem substantial enough to qualify as the main course at dinner. But tonight I was feeling pretty persuadable, so I agreed.
Jackson has been interested in all things cooking related (might just be 'blue fire coming out of the stove' related) and Jebb is interested in all things Jackson, so I immediately had two assistants.
I discovered something a few weeks back that makes your M&C super yummy. And no, it's not 4 year old hair.
We had run out of milk while making our golden noodles, but we did have some of this. So this is my awesome cooking tip...."Heavy Whipping Cream tastes good in most anything."
Don't worry, I didn't go too crazy. I only used half HWC and half Whole Milk. ;)

Once we got Jebb to give us back his new Jedi helmet, we strained the pasta and added the rest of our ingredients.

What is that orange powder made of anyway? Do I even want to know? It does taste so yummy though!

We sliced up some apples to serve as a side dish to try to make it seem more legit. I even served 2 varieties.

It's definately not the most well balanced or super healthy dinner ever, but sometimes it is really nice to serve a dinner that the kids literally cheer for when it is served. So although I am no Rachel Ray, tonight I had some real fans of my cooking.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Form 9 to 10

Now that Elise has turned double digits she was ready for an 'older' room. She said she was 'so not liking' pink anymore and was wanting a green room. I agreed that the whole pink and purple heart thing was ready to retire. But as you can see, she has a purple wall.

So this is what we ended up with. Same purple wall. New duvet cover for the down comforter Grandma Kristine passed on to us. A green fuzzy cover for the pink couch and a new green lamp to match the green sheets. She says she loves it! I just know that I love her and I am proud of the terrific young lady she is growing into!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Double Digits

Today is Elise's birthday and my little girl is now 10!!! When she got home from school I told her to get in the car. We went down to the Humane Society and got this guy:
Earlier today when I dropped her off for school, she wasn't very enthusiastic about her birthday. She wanted to have a big party with her friends, but we wanted to do something small just with the family. Needless to say, after the new kitten, I am now the coolest mom on the planet. ;) She was thrilled!

We BBQed some steaks for dinner, opened a few other gifts, and watched her blow out 10 candles. I think I could have made her scrub the whole house with a toothbrush and she still would have had this big smile. She was so happy to have a kitten!!

Elise is a wonderful daughter. I am so grateful she is mine. Happy birthday sweetheart. I love you!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Tonight I had the fun opportunity to take Gabe and Seth to a cello recital up at our local college. We figured it was an appropriate Sabbath Day activity and the boys got extra credit for attending. We got there a few minutes early and in no time it was crowded.

The smallish recital hall was quite full and I think there was a college music appreciation-type class that must have gotten extra credit for attending too. I sat down with my boys in the last 3 seats together. As I sat there for a minute I started to have a little bit of a moment...and I started feeling a little anxiety. The hall quickly filled past capacity and people were sitting in the aisles so we were stuck in our seats with nowhere to move. The temperature started to rise. The chairs felt very close together.

I am not sure what this all stems from. It could be the fact that I live in a remote, rural setting and I don't often have strangers in my personal space. OK, I never have strangers in my personal space. Heck, I rarely have people I have know for years in my personal space. Anyhoo. It could be the fact that I am just getting old and set in my ways and have become naturally less tolerant of pretty much anything and everything. It could be my bad genetics-thanks to my Dad who does NOT love being in crowds.

Whatever the reason, I started to feel a little squeezed and somewhat imposed upon by the kid directly to my left. He was obviously a college student there for an assignment. He had weird dark hair with his bangs cut too short and his skin was super pale like he never went outside. He was wearing a tiny women's watch on his wrist and a pair of camo pants. And he started coughing. Like really, really COUGHING. I tried to hold my breathe, but I am really bad at living without oxygen for any length of time. He was taking notes about the recital, writing things like 'first song sounds like video game music,' 'cello looks small,' and 'lady is wearing shiny dress.' And it was in this weird creepy handwriting. When he wasn't coughing into his sleeve, he was popping every joint in his upper body. He popped every knuckle of each finger before turning his neck around like an owl. He coughed a couple of more times then started chewing on his cuticles and spitting them out.

The HORROR! The PANIC! I was leaning way to the right over into Gabe's seat. I am sure he was wondering why I was imposing on his personal space, but when I whispered my concerns to him, he just kind of chuckled at me. He would give me a huge grin each time the strange kid popped his thick neck.

Personal space issues aside, the concert was amazing. It featured a cello player and she played with a few other instruments as well. I enjoyed that part of the evening immensely. There is something so cool about hearing music performed live. I like hearing her fingers hit the fingerboard, and seeing the concentration of the musicians. There was even a song that I listen to all the time on a CD-I love it when familiar songs are played. And I really enjoyed sharing the experience with Gabe and Seth. They are getting old enough to appreciate things like that.

As much as I enjoyed the music, I was very relieved when we stood for the final ovation. I clapped enthusiastically knowing my freedom was oh so close. As we shuffled out I continued my shallow breathing until we made it into the outside air.

Great night with the boys, but I need to go take an Airborne.

Me Murmur?

Today was the Primary Program so of course I used it as an excuse to snap a couple of pictures before church. We went on the back porch and sadly, the first one had the whole top half of the picture washed out form the sunlight. The next picture we tried a different angle. Great fall colors, but Jackson and Jebb look drugged (I laughed when Jackson told me he would pose with his hand in his pocket 'like a missionary' :) He is a funny kid.)

The Primary Program went well. I unexpectedly got to sit up on the stand with the kids when a few of the teachers didn't make it. I always enjoy the PP Sunday each year-it is fun to hear the kids give such sweet talks.

It was a special Sunday for John as he was ordained a High Priest today. He was asked to serve as the first assistant to the High Priest Group Leader in our ward. He will also remain the early morning seminary teacher. Only a few weeks ago I would have been a little miffed about this. I have been known to murmur a great deal in my life, and both of these callings require a lot of time. I am a selfish wife who really likes hanging with her husband. The whole seminary gig had me really murmurific for quite some time.

Then, a few weeks ago, I was reading with the kids in the Book of Mormon. It was before school, so of course John was gone (murmur, murmur) and we read about Lehi and his family. Classic murmuring going on there...ya.... so it got me thinking and here's the thing: We are super duper blessed and I am grateful to have a husband that the Lord can call on to serve. Why in the heck should I murmur about that?! I should be (and I am) so, so grateful to be married to a guy that really tries hard to serve and will do his best at whatever he is asked to do. We decided years ago in our life that we were never too busy to say 'Yes' to a calling, and if we felt like we were unsure, it was a sure sign something in our lives would need to change so that we could say 'Yes.'

So I guess once the Lord knew I was cool with the seminary thing, He decided to throw this new calling out to see how I would take it. When our kind Stake President explained that he wanted John to do both callings, I admit, I swallowed hard. I looked over at my hubby and he just smiled and said that he knew how blessed we were and how could he say no? Shoot. That sealed the deal for me--I'm not even the one that has to actually DO both of those callings and if John was cool with it, who was I to wonder at the wisdom of it all? Now, I'm not saying John isn't a little freaked out, because he is. He is wondering how he will find time to do it all. Work had been demanding lately and 50+ hour work weeks are the norm. But he also knows for sure that if he does what is important first, everything will work out. It's pretty dang cool how it works that way. There is nothing the Lord can ask of us that is 'too much' as ALL that we have is just on loan from Him.

What a full and terrific Sabbath. It is one of those days when I feel so, so blessed. I am grateful for the whisperings in my heart today that let me know that the Lord is aware of my little family and all that we are dealing with. It's funny how when I stop murmuring long enough, I can more readily hear that Still Small Voice.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Some Saturday

Today was a Norman Rockwell Saturday. Perfect fall weather, youth football, autumn colors, friends, family, hanging out and just enjoying it as it comes. Nothing out of the ordinary, but delightful, so here is some of Saturday.

After dropping Gabe off to go on a youth temple trip, we drove to Bloomfield to watch Seth in his semi-final football game against Bayfield. He didn't play much this season after breaking his arm, but after getting his cast off Thursday, he was excited to get in there. Bayfield won the game, but the boys actually did better than we had expected. It was such a beautiful morning and watching a small town football game is at the top of my list for 'pleasant things to do.'

After the game we went to meet a bunch of other players for lunch. This is the shirt I have worn every football Saturday for the last 3 years. Gabe and Seth were both 81-how convenient. I think I am ready to retire the shirt. ;)

We got home and just kinda dinked around for the afternoon. We usually have projects or appointments or something to keep us running. It was so nice to just relax!

In the late afternoon, Jackson and Jebb took turns riding the little 4wheeler. They would pretend to 'pit' for each other (check tires and fuel level). They had a ball.

John sat out front on a chair and kept a good eye on them. I took this picture myself, can you tell?

Jackson was being such a sweetheart. I love it when he is in that mood! He wanted to be sure I got his pumpkin in some of the pictures. He is getting to be a good little rider.

Jebb isn't very good at braking yet, so I was grateful for John's parental supervision! ;) That kid loves to cheese for the camera which made action shots a little sketchy-instead of watching where he was driving, he would look for me to see if I was getting his picture.

Dinner time was coming up on us and I was thinking what a treat of a day it had been. Elise had gone to play at a friends house for the afternoon and John was going to pick her up. I did some dishes and was rooting around in the fridge to see if anything inspired me. I was drawing a big, fat cooking inspiration blank. Then look what happened-that's right-the man brought home pizza! I freakin' love that guy!!! He even obliged me when I ran for the camera.
So now the kids will hit the showers so they can be shiny and sweet smelling for church in the morning. This was just some Saturday, but I think it was terrific.