Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Laying Pipe

Seth hasn't been involved in track this season and it has provided opportunities for him to be able to work with John around the property. Last night they laid pipe for irrigations through a section of dense willows.  

Being the 2nd oldest isn't always easy.  Seth tends to hold back when Gabe is around.  But John said that Seth worked hard without complaint during this whole evening.  I am glad to Seth coming into his own and I am glad that John got to work with him one on one.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Pie5 Opens in SLC!

We headed up to SLC this weekend for the Grand Opening of John's first Pie Five store.  It is also the first franchised store to open, so there were a lot of big wigs from Texas coming to see how it all went.  John has been gone for a looong stretch getting ready for this, so we were glad to go and see him.  Unfortunately, there were a million things going on this weekend at home.  We ended up leaving Gabe and Elise at home.  They both had track meets to go to-Elise here at home, and Gabe in Denver.  Elise stayed with her dear friend Afton while Gabe was gone which was really nice.  

Jackson stayed home from school to help me get packed up and ready to go.  We picked up Jebb downtown because his class was on a fieldtrip to a history museum.  Then we swung into the High School to get Seth.  Because no one stayed around long enough for lunch, we stopped to get some here in town.  This is not my lunch, but I was dreading this drive, so I decided I'd better get us all some yummy road trip food so we could arrive with a smile. I think it worked. 

Seth drove a lot of the way which was awesome until we hit the Interstate....  yikes, I am a worry wart.  Seth did a fine job but I must have driven him nuts!!

Friday was the 'Friends and Family' day at Pie5.  It is basically where we invite F&F to come and be our guinea pigs the day before the official opening, and they get to enjoy a free meal. :)  Pie 5 is a personal pizza made just for you.  You pick the toppings and the crust.  It bakes while you wait and it is goooood! John had put in many long days getting ready for this (I am talking 6am-midnight every day) and F&F was no exception.  Because I had the kids with me, I was only there for abbreviated hours, but I really enjoyed it because we did get to see a lot of Friends and Family! :)
Lunch was kinda crazy because we have an entirely new crew that had never made pizza for an actual customer before (they had of course been training all week).  But it went all right.  The oven is driving John a little crazy, but all of the corporate peeps were working on it.

Between lunch and dinner Becky and Angi came to eat.  They are from our area so it was fun to see them and meet Becky's new baby, Emery.  Their sister Jenny also came in at dinner later with her hubby.

The local news was broadcasting live from our store in anticipation of our opening the next day.  They did the weather report during the early evening hours.  Brad (my little bro) and his family all came in around this time. Two of their boys ended up being on live TV! How fun is that!?

Soon after this, it starting getting really, really crazy.  We had a lot of people coming in. Our employees were allowed to invite 1 friend, but I think lots of extra people came too.  John said that there were actually people that showed up and ordered 6-7 pizzas to go (all free).  I thought that was pretty nervy. :/ But I guess it is good practice (?).

Fortunately, we did not limit ourselves to only inviting 1 person! haha I was so glad to see another Durango native, Kelly, and her cute family.  I also got to visit with one of my dear mission companions and 3 of her girls.  Rod and Jill made it down and it is always too long between visits with them!  Many of John's old friends and mission friends came too.

Of course my family arrived as well with their good friends.  Ty and his fiance's family came too.  It was just so much fun to have everyone come! My only regret is that I did not get more pictures!!!!

There was a huge amount of people that we put through for dinner.  It was 3-4 times more people than the average dinners at other Pie5 stores.  There were some more oven issues, and we almost ran out of food (we make our dough fresh each day), but I think overall it went pretty well.  John was pleased, but exhausted.  I am in awe of his ability to keep on working. He has remarkable stamina and work ethic.  I am always amazed when he is in his work mode.

After our trial by fire on F&F, opening day seemed like a piece of cake! John had a ribbon cutting ceremony with the city, and we were open for paying customers! :)  Seth, Jackson, and Jebb had done so well traveling up here that we decided to go to the zoo instead of make them wipe down tables all day.  It was a perfect weather day and we all had such a nice day.  It's weird how different the dynamics of the family are when you remove 2 kids.
 We were watching a gorilla and were loving how close he was to us.  A large woman next to us tapped on the glass. The gorilla looked over at her and she bragged about staring at it in the eyes.  Well, it did NOT like that, and he charged and slammed into the glass right in front of her! Jebb noted that she said a bad word.  It was all pretty exciting, but a little freaky too.  That guy is powerful!  I guess that lady didn't read this sign.

We compare ourselves in size to the gorillas...

Jackson wanted to see how he measured up

Seth wore his giraffe t-shirt-on accident

 We got super close to the giraffes as they were being fed. Seth tried to pet one but got in trouble by the feeder lady.
We learned that Seth is the large-cat-whisperer.  All of the large cats would come right over to him.  It was cool, although kinda weird.  ;)  This is a linx listening to Seth whisper.  Jackson and I could see them through the glass from the far side of this enclosure.  We finally went over to the glass where Seth was, because that is the only place that Linx wanted to be.
Then it was the Siberian Tiger.  Pretty cool.  There were other big cats that did the same thing, even one called a Palace Cat which is apparently rarely seen in the day.  It stood up when Seth came and showed us his teeth over and over. It looked like it was hissing, but didn't make a noise.

We had a nice day together and stopped by Pie 5 on our way home too (it's just off the 215).  John was still there (of course) but he was not looking well.  He had finally hit the wall.  He came home a few hours later with a bad migraine headache.  He told me later that the Williams brothers had come to the store and he was so sick he couldn't even talk to them. :( Sad.   But after a good long rest, John got a little mojo back.  Enough, in fact, to spend some time with us on Saturday.

We mini golfed and hit in the batting cages.  It was fun. :)  I am not a good putter, but I am not a bad hitter. ;)  The boys wanted to keep hitting, they loved it and all improved each time.

It is always a different dynamic traveling without a few family members.  Seth was a great 'big bro' to J&J this whole trip.  It was fun to see him step into the oldest kid roll.  We had a really nice Sunday afternoon hanging with the Hannays.  I really needed to get on the road, but we ended up just lingering longer and longer! ;)  Although, with food like they feed us, can you really blame us?

We stopped again at Wilson Arch on the way home. I think we have stopped more there in the last month than we have our whole lives.  J&J think that it is just what we do now.  I guess it is a good stopping point.  John drove his car home with Seth, so I was glad to stretch my legs and say hello to them.

I missed Gabe and Elise. They had a good weekend too and I am grateful for the folks back home that help out with our family.  We sure do have a lot of blessings going on in our lives right now that are keeping us on our toes.  I just want to be sure the the busyness doesn't keep us from being close, and I think this trip helped with that.

Eat at Pie Five! ;)  

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Cowboys for Christ

On Sundays we pick up Grandma for Sacrament Meeting, then take her back to her apartment, then return to get her after church so she can come and spend the day with us.  This Sunday afternoon, we went to get her and noticed that the lobby was filling up with musicians and old folks.  We decided to grab a chair and see what was up.

This is a local group of musicians that call themselves Cowboys for Chirst.  They are a fellowship that meets to play music.  I was impressed that they would willingly give of their time to come and share the Good News on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  It was a lot of Cowboy, Christian, Country crooning.  (Songs like 'The Old Rugged Cross.')  

We tapped our foot and clapped along and I was really enjoying it.  After a set of songs, the lead guy started preaching about Jesus.  He preached that all we need to do is accept Christ. It doesn't matter the life we have lived, we just need to accept Jesus into our hearts.  Jackson walked over to me (he was on the far side of the room) and whispered in my ear, "Mom, I think we should probably leave pretty soon.  He is teaching different things than we believe."  

I smiled, hugged him, and set him on my lap.  I told him that I was proud of the good boy that he was.  I whispered that not everyone knows what we do, but we are glad that these Cowboys wanted people to love Jesus.  I was really touched at Jackson's tender heart.  He liked the music too, but when the preaching didn't jive with his knowledge of Salvation, he got very uncomfortable and was ready to go.

It was a great chance for us to talk about the Doctrine of Salvation. There is an article Here about it.  Nephi summed it up nicely when he said in 2 Nephi 25:23 "...for we know that it is by bgrace that we are saved, after all we can cdo."  The whole chapter is really good to clarify this idea too.
It was also a great time for us to talk about how blessed we are to have the Book of Mormon and the fullness of the Gospel.  In the New Testament you could look up scriptures all day long which seem to contradict how exactly we are saved.  We are so fortunate to have the clarity that the BOM and living prophets provide.

I am grateful for people that give up their day to go and share the message of Christ, because that is what He would have them do.  I know they will be blessed in their personal lives for that service.  I am so glad we got to hear them and talk more about it. :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Jackson Visits Crow Canyon

Jackson went on a field trip to Crow Canyon, an archeological center about an hour from our home.  Because I was unable to go, I sent the camera with him and asked him to take pictures of his experience.  He got some good shots.

He took lots of pictures of early arrows and spears

This is one of kids throwing spears...
 But he also got some pottery pictures.
 And friend pictures
 The class in an early dwelling

He told me that it was a lot of fun.  They didn't get home until dinner time, so he thought that was quite an adventure!  Jackson is a great kid and told me a lot of interesting information from his trip. I am glad he enjoyed it.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Track Meets

It's track season in these parts.  Although the Gilleland genetics leave a lot to be desired in the speed or endurance events, we are somewhat gravity defying. ;)  


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spring Break SLC 13-Around SLC

We are on our Spring Break and I had originally planned a trip for our family to New York State to visit the Sacred Grove and surrounding church history sites as well as Niagra Falls.  Ya, it didn't really work out and I don't want to really blame anyone, but let's just say it is all John's fault that we didn't go.  He has been working hard to get the first Pie Five location open in Utah and just couldn't get away.  He also didn't want us to go without him, so SLC it was.  He worked a lot while we were there, but managed to go most places with us, even if he was on the phone most of the time. ;)

A lot of our time was spent shopping, which is one of my least favorite things to do. I think I would enjoy it more if I didn't feel pressure to find all of the things we have been needing to buy.  But that is how it goes when you come from a small town to the big city. ;) I will try to hit the highlights that don't involve any retail experiences.

Monday night we had the pleasure of going to Brad and Keryn's new home.  We invited ourselves over and they graciously welcomed us in. Their home is awesome! It is a great location and is perfect for their ever growing gang.


Tuesday we took J&J to the Dinosaur museum.  It was still cold so we had to find indoor activities.  We haven't been there in years and they enjoyed it.


Wednesday we visited Temple Square.  The weather was a little better and we loved looking around. We first went to the Visitor's Center with the statue of Jesus.

Going to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building was great. In fact, it was almost the same as visiting upstate NY. I don't know why I was bummed we didn't take that expensive trip. ;)  This is the picture they take of you in the basement.  It's like we are arriving at Ellis Island, which is way cooler than flying into Buffalo like I had planned for us.

We got to watch the story of Joseph Smith's life in the Legacy Theater there.  It was terrific (of course) and helped us visualize all of the events of the Restoration.  As we went around Temple Square we got to see it all from the beginning.  

Young Joseph read in James 1:5 and decided to ask the Lord which church to join.

And much to his surprise, he had the 'First Vision.'
We didn't have to drive to Pennsylvania to see site of the Restoration of the Priesthood. It was captured here in bronze:

We got to see and emulate Joseph and his brother Hyrum.  (I took a pic just like this in Nauvoo with Gabe and Seth posing like the statue-too bad I lost the camera it was on.)  Jebb and Jackson liked posing like the amazing brothers. 

We had lunch at the top of the JSM Building which offered a fantastic view of the Temple, where of course, we saw the Angel Moroni (who needs to go to the Hill Cumorah?).  We also go to have smoothies. ;)

Instagram Collage

Jebb and Jackson said that this is the temple they want to get married in-just like John and I did! <3 p="">

Because it had just been General Conference, the kids were interested in visiting the Conference Center where it is broadcast from.  But first we stopped in to see the Tabernacle, where we would all come back in the day (I went there several times in my college years and sat on the lawn).  When we got inside, there was someone playing the famous organ.  I have to admit, I was freaked out by the absolute smallness of the tabernacle interior!  How did we ever have our Gen Conf from there?! Crazy!

Then we headed over to the new(er) Conference Center.  You can't just walk around it, you must have a tour guide.  It was much bigger! Our guide reminded us that Pres. Hinckley commented when it first opened that he didn't know if we would ever fill it.  Of course now, you can hardly get in without getting tickets far in advance.  Elise and I remembered how we had come to conference and attended the very last session before Pres. Hinckley passed away.  Read about it that experience HERE (it's a pretty good one).

Looking down from the top floor
The Walnut wood podium the GA's speak from
Looking up towards the seats

There are lots of cool details in the Conf Center

And some really cool original art.  I like the BofM pics the best.

It was a really nice day of playing tourist downtown.  I would have loved to have spent even more time at places like Welfare Square and the Church History Museum.  But the kids were troopers to go as long as we did without breaking into any major brawls. ;)  

We did make a couple of pit stops on the way home...

At the house of one of my old mission companions. It was her Bday and we went right past...so I had to drop by! Of course she was thrilled to see me. heehee

Then we swung up to Holliday so John could make a meeting with a contractor at our first Pie Five location.  It's looking good, but there is still much to do on the inside before April 26th.

We finally made it home where before hitting the hay, we played a card game with the Hannays. It was so fun! We love those guys!


Thursday was here and it was time for the BigGtribe to head home.  Gabe and John left at 4am so Gabe could make track practice, but we took our time heading home. It was so leisurely in fact, that we even stopped at Wilson Arch (normally I want to make good time with minimal stops, but about 20 minutes into this trip I changed my mind-good call.)

While it was nice to go to Utah to visit family and Upstate NY ala Temple Square, it is always nice to come home. :)  The weather is chillier than I like for Spring Break, but seeing friends and family warmed me up nicely!