Monday, June 27, 2011

Gabe's First Catch

Tonight we had the pleasure of going to the Francom's house for FHE. They have a fabulous fire pit in their backyard which is populated by tall pines. Just behind their property is the Florida River which is populated with rainbow trout. After the lesson and food, the boys all headed down to the river to see if they could catch anything.

To give you an idea of how often we fish, Gabe caught his first fish tonight! Lori took it up to the house and taught Gabe how to clean a fish! Then she added some lemon pepper, tin foil, and just like that, we were cooking it on the coals of the fire. After a few minutes, we opened it up and it was perfectly cooked. Everyone got to have a piece and it was pretty dang good! :) Talk about fresh fish!

I took a tiny picture of it with my phone:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Calling in YW

In my church, I currently work with the demographic known as the Young Women in our congregation. The church website defines the program this way:
Young Women
The Young Women organization assists parents and priesthood leaders in preparing each young woman to be worthy to make and keep sacred covenants and receive the ordinances of the temple. The organization promotes the growth and development of each young woman through Sunday instruction, weekday activities (such as Mutual and camp), and the Personal Progress program.

I think of it as my chance to be with and hopefully lead, some terrific girls (ages 12-18) to become the Women they were created to be. I have served in many capacities in our church, but if I had to pick, working with the YW is my favorite calling.

So here are a few of the things we have been up to lately!

We had a Navajo Taco Dinner to raise money for Girl's Camp. It was a huge success. Not only did the girls work hard and raise all the money they needed, but I got to EAT a Navajo Taco!

That weekend, we went over to Monticello, Utah with some of the youth so that they could do baptisms. Just a few could go as summer is starting to get busy for everyone

With all that money we raised from Navajo Tacos, it was off to Girl's Camp the very next week! The girl's went up Tues-Fri, but I didn't go until Wednesday. It was FANTASTIC! The girl's camped by year and our ward was over the 4th years. What a fun group of girls!! I loved it! It think all of our YW had a good time and this is the first time I can remember when everyone has gone! YEAH!

We got to camp again at Decker Park which is a plot of land up by Vallecito Reservoir that is owned by the church. We hadn't camped there for 6 years because a forest fire made it unsafe. My husband helped a lot in the clean up (getting rid of dead or dangerous trees) and also did a bunch of work on some upgrades and improvements. He installed the sewer system and the water system. It used to be strictly primitive camping (porta poties, cooking on stoves or fires, tents) but there is now a kitchen by the pavillion and running water for showers and toilets! Skits, crafts, hikes, good friends, churchy stuff... It was a great camp with some really fabulous girls!

Last night we had a combined activity with the Young Men in the ward. We take turns between age groups planning what we will do. Tonight the Deacons (age 12-13) were in charge. Because on of the Deacons lives in my house (Seth) he thought it might be fun to have a swim party at the pond. Ah, the pond. How I love it on warm summer nights...but I digress.

The pond party was a lot of fun. Not only did we have the Youth there, but our Young Men have recently been assigned new leaders and they all brought their families. I think everyone had a good time. About 4 in the afternoon, I went out to the shop and found my husband welding on our old trampolline. He was attaching barrels to create a Hillbilly Water Trampoline. He didn't have time to reinforce it how he wanted, but it served us well as a fun island, bent though it was.

Next week we will be combined with the other ward from Durango and I am not involved in the planning, so who knows what we will do! All of our activities aren't always photo worthy, but we try to make sure that they are meaningful and worth going to. It is a chunk of time, so I feel blessed to serve with good women and GREAT YOUTH!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Thomas the Train

Thomas the Train, beloved by many children anywhere there are tracks, came to Durango for his annual visit. I learned a few things.

1) 11 year old girls are so over Thomas the Train
2) My kids enjoy engineer hats
3) I enjoy engineer hats on my kids when we have given them mohawk haircuts
4) John is a good sport and pretends to enjoy not only trains, but the accompanying petting zoo.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Farewell Mrs. Willey

Throughout their elementary school career, all of our children have had the same music teacher. Her name is Mrs. Willey. She is fantastic! She taught my 3 oldest to play stringed instruments and all of them how to sing and appreciate music. She will be retiring from school this summer and she had a lunch with a few of the girls she has taught violin to. Elise got to meet at Digs resturant and thank Mrs Willey for all of her dedicated service. Teachers are wonderful!

I Heart Peonies

There is a shrub that grows in my front garden. It is a perennial (which means it dies each winter only to regrow in the spring). In the early part of the spring, little red shoots appear often peeking through late snow. As a lover of warm weather, I see them as flags rising to signal the end of the long sleep, and a sign that jubilant colors and life are ready to take over the more muted winter landscape.

The shrub grows then diligently works on producing these buds which seem ready to break open, no longer able to contain their flowery contents. But those peonies are never in a hurry. They have endured a long winter rest, and they wait to burst open their blossoms. They lean toward the sun drink in the warmth each day. The blooms swell as layer after layer of anticipation is added until finally, finally, the blooms can no longer be contained and they explode into a seemingly impossibly big burst of summer laughter.

And from this....

Emerges this...

That peony bush then proceeds to blossom with everything it has, putting on a fantastic show! The blossoms always come just before the official start of Summer and I love that they boldly declare that the outdoor fun may now begin...and you don't need to dress in layers anymore! :)

After their triumphant proclamation, the peony shrub quietly enjoys a green summer as it soaks up the rays that will enable it to proclaim the same wonderful welcome when winter will be put to bed once again next year.

So, I heart peonies and the beginning of SUMMER!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Jebb is 6

Six years ago today we welcomed our last member of the BigG Tribe into the world. Jebb Ross Gilleland is having a birthday today! Jebb is a ray of sunshine in our home and always seems to have a big smile and a kind word. We are so glad he is part of our family!

We were going in lots of different directions today, so Jebb will celebrate a little today, but we will have cake and presents on Friday. John and I took Jebb out to breakfast at Burger King (his choice) and I snapped a shot of us in the playland.

Then, this afternoon Grandma Kristine took Jebb, Jackson, and Elise to swim at the Rec Center. I sent the waterproof camera with Elise and it looks like Jebb had some good fun. Gabe and Seth would have joined them, but they are at a basketball camp at the college this week.

Tonight Jebb got to have a birthday dinner with our whole ward, as it was the YW Navajo Taco Dinner to raise money for Girl's Camp. He said he had a great night! :)

Sometimes our lives have lots of good things. I am grateful for Jebb because he is one of the BEST things we get to celebrate!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Late Night Shenanigans

When I was a youth I often heard that mischief happens late at night. I kinda agree with that sentiment. In my life I have done one or two crazy things and I think a lot of it happened after the sun went down. I don't know why it is, maybe we get kooky when we are tired...?

Well, I guess it is a family trait because here I am at my sister's house and it is getting late.

What to do?

You guessed it--we decided to wax Eric's back! That's right, wax his BACK!

I am kind of a pro and shared my awesome technique with my younger kin folk. Kim took pics--

As you can tell, his back isn't really all that hairy, but we had some good laughs none the less. When I told Eric that I kind of felt like we bonded, he just chuckled in his typical quiet, late night manner.

I better get to bed before someone loses an eyebrow or something.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hogle Zoo 2011

Today we decided to hit the Hogle Zoo. We went last year for the first time and found it to be a pleasant way to spend half the day. We had Grandma, Kim, and Nate come along with Jackson, Jebb, Elise, and I. The weather was perfect, cool and a bit breezy. We have really lucked out weather-wise. Although I typically love a blazing hot day, I have to admit that it is nice to have those cooler, overcast ones on days when you are zooing or roofing.

We headed home and chilled out a little bit before dinner. Jackson had a wild animal of his own that he caught when he was fishing with Eric. He originally wanted us to grill it and eat it, but when we told him he'd have to eat it himself, he decided to go ahead and release it.

Then tonight, Kim and Steve cooked us up some fantastic steak fajitas (thank goodness Jackson agreed to go with the steak!). The weather was almost too chilly to be outside, but we went for it because of all the festive decor in the pergola! We had tons of yummo guacamole and salsa. I love this time of year with all of the fresh food you can make (not fresh like a crawdad, but fresh like an avocado...)!