Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Sierra wanted to enter the Reflections contest this year...
I told her that was a great idea, but that she was all on her own.
And she did it. All on her own.
The theme was "The Magic of a Moment".
She entered 2 categories--3D art, and music composition.

Here is her 3D art:

The actual artwork does not go on to State Competition in the 3D art category.  
So, we had to take pictures and include the ruler for reference.
Then the photos are submitted for competition.

Here she is receiving her award for her 3D art...
 And for her musical composition...

Both projects are advancing to the State finals.  GOOD LUCK.

Monday, November 5, 2012

fall break

Rick has had to pick up some extra shifts at work--
Not by his choice but because of a vacancy in their group.
And the way the schedule works out and the shifts that needed to be filled, it left Rick working a TON the last couple months, including a 10 day period where he worked 9 of those days.
It was a killer.
Thankfully, fall break fell right smack in the middle of Rick's 10 day vacation.
Boy, was that lucky and boy oh boy, we all needed that break.
so, we headed to St. George.  Here are a few pic's of the R&R:

 This is Classic Cole.
1.  Because he LOVES the monkey bars...
2.  Because his zipper is down.
 no wonder I have so many wrinkles.  I am always squinting.  Even when I wear sun glasses.
 Rick gave the kids a big spin in the tire swing.  I thought they were going to puke.
 It was good to just play with Cole.  We've had a rough few months...
 St. George has the best sunsets ever.  I can't get enough of them
And what's a trip to St. G without a visit to Veyo pies?

Friday, November 2, 2012

horizons echo

Summer's band played at Riverwoods a few weeks ago.
I think that place is cool.  It's not like people line up or crowd the area to listen to the performers.
It's more like background noise for an outdoor shopping experience, people waiting for a seat at a restaurant, or couples & families taking a break on a beautiful weekend evening.
The band members gained a lot of experience that night.  Lots of lessons.
Here are a few pictures from the evening....

Over You

A cover of "Lights" by Ellie Goulding

 Summer & Sierra did a cover of Ingrid Michaelson together.

This isn't a great picture, but I just like how everything looks as the sun goes down and the lights come on.  The whole atmosphere of River Woods is great.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012

 We walked down to Sage Creek to see Cole's Halloween Parade.
He really couldn't care less that we were there.  
His big concern was giving all of his friends a big high five as they walked past.

We had this tradition in our neighborhood when we moved in called the "Street of Treats".
I think it started out as a ward thing, but as ward things always go, someone didn't like something about it and "Street of Treats" became a neighborhood thing and not a ward thing.
Valeree was the original chairperson of this event.  
But, Valeree was preparing to move to Australia last October so she handed the responsibility over. And I gladly accepted.  
I asked around and the feedback was that we start the earlier the better in case the weather is bad and so the kids can get off their sugar high and into bed within a reasonable amount of time. 
So, Sadie helped me out last year and we fried donuts and handed out hot chocolate.  
It seemed like a hit because we got a lot of positive feedback.
So, we decided to do the same thing again this year.
I started at the beginning of October by making up flyers and spreading the word.
Everything seemed fine until I got this note in my mailbox on October 29.  
Thanks for signing your name.  
thanks for your input.  a month ago when it mattered.
Next year, YOU can be in charge.

Sadie and I decided to dress up like 50's ladies.
We made our own skirts.
From the same pattern.  How stupid was that?  
Mine was so long it was practically dragging on the ground.
Sadie's skirt fit just like it was supposed to.  
We even made a fluffy tule petty coat to wear underneath--mine just made my butt look bigger. 

I wore my poodle skirt (minus the poodle) to the school and one of the kids asked me if I was a pioneer.
Oh well.  At least I'll be ready if I'm ever asked to go on Trek.
and, of course, my eyes are closed.
(note to self:  make sure you are never in the same photo as Sadie.)
Still not any better.

 So, 2 days before the big day, right after I got the note in the mailbox and right after I checked the weather...I decided that we should grill hot dogs.  Rick had the day off and agreed to help.  
He was happy to test out some of his new toys (his pellet grill and his solar generator).
So here we are grilling and frying.  I felt so at home around a hot grill and hot grease.

Altogether we served about 120 hot dogs.
1,000 donut balls.
And about 160 cups of hot chocolate (next year we might need lemonade--it was too hot for hot chocolate)(if there is a next year)

 Summer and Sierra had a few of their friends show up...
Summer had the camera so we lots of pictures of Summer's friends and no pictures of Sierra's friends.

 Then Jon and Teresa surprised us by showing up with Lillie.

Scott got bored with the usual donuts he was serving.  
So, he grabbed a hot dog, rolled it in dough and threw it in the hot oil.
He made us all taste a little piece.  I have to admit, with the right amount of ketchup and mustard, it was  pretty darn tasty.

Here are my cute trick or treaters with Little at the end of the evening...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Past...

A few years ago, when Cole looked like this...
he said something that we cannot get out of our minds...
"Happy Hell-No-Ween"
over and over and over.

playing in the leaves...

a couple of cute witches...

Scooby Doo

Dad and Scooby...


Have a Happy

Friday, October 26, 2012

Canning Season Wrap Up

Canning Season began this year with grapes from my yard.
And before they were in my yard, they were in Amara's yard.
thanks for the grapevine start.
I had no idea that I had this many grapes.  They filled up my small sink two times.

I read up on juicing grapes and found that you end up with a much sweeter grape juice if you take off the stems, although you can just throw them into the juicer with stems and all.

I had no idea what was going to come out of the juicer.  But, I love the color of this grape juice...

It looks so pretty sitting on the counter and now down on the shelf in the storage room.

Next up was the purple grapes.  The kids are thrilled to have some of this grape juice.
These were from Orem.  Thanks for picking the grapes for me.
Needless to say, I am running low on quart jars.
If anyone has extras, I'd be glad to take them off your hands...

Then, this guy became a regular on feature in the kitchen.
Along with a bunch of canning books.

This is a sample of the pizza sauce and Southwest Tomato soup.

Another shot of the Southwest Tomato Soup.  I hope it's good.
The tomatoes and peppers were from my yard.
You can also see the new lids that I am trying out.
They are called Tattler lids and they are reusable.

Then Rick helped me can 80 pounds of chicken.
Bean soup.  The little green beens are from Amara, if you can see any of them!
The kids didn't really like the beans.  
That's OK.  I'm not a big bean fan.  But, Summer said she would eat the beans if the Zombies ever come.

The list of canned items also includes raspberry jalapeno jelly that I made from my jalapenos and raspberries from my neighbor Laura.  
I managed to make some salsa this year that the family approves of.  
I made tomato vegetable soup that I thought was fantastic because I love tomatoes.
Cole just ate the potatoes and left the rest.  
I had tons of tomatoes this year, so I did a double batch of the vegetable tomato soup.  I hope someone helps me eat it.
And then I canned a bunch of tomatoes by themselves.
I roasted a lot of peppers that Phyllis brought me.  
I am her VT.  She grows a fantastic garden every year.
I also froze a bunch of peaches.  They were from the tree that hangs over my fence from my neighbors back yard.  I figure that when the neighbors just let the fruit fall on the ground and rot, then the fruit that is on my side of the fence is fair game.  But, I didn't have time to bottle it, so it went into the freezer.
And I managed to grow lots and lots of peans, radishes, turnips, one cabbage, and 2 pumpkins.

And one last trick I learned this year:  We have really hard water here.  So, if you add 1/2 c. vinegar to the water bath or pressure canner, it will help the jars to not get the white film on the outside when they come out of the canner and dry.  I tried it with the last batch in the pressure canner and it worker great.  Although the kids thought the house smelled horrible for a couple of days.  too bad.