Saturday, December 29, 2018

Halloween 2018

Halloween isn't near as fun now with teenage children as it was when they were younger. I'm really the only one who gets excited to dress up in costumes any more!! Thankfully, Kanyon still dresses up, but I'm sure it will only last a couple more years :( (if that). 

We carved pumpkins for family home evening on Sunday night the 28th. I had to buy one pumpkin this year, as our garden only produced two larger ones, and I wanted the three boys to each have a good-sized one. Josh and I carved two of the medium/smaller ones from our garden, too. It was fun, and I'm glad everyone wanted to still be involved with the annual pumpkin carving event!!

I made the hot air balloon, Josh made the minion eye, 
Micah carved the XC symbol, Kanyon's creation was the skull, and Jonah create a running man. 

For Halloween this year, I wanted to be a minion. I went to Rags and Wags looking for a pair of overalls that would fit me, because I wanted to make my own costume, and I found an adult-sized minion costume already there! I was so excited, and got that instead--it was much easier than making my own. It was definitely meant to be! Kanyon looked through our boxes of Halloween costumes, and nothing really clicked for him until he saw the clown costume. He'd recently watched Goosebumps 2, and in it was a reference to the creepy clown Pennywise from the movie It. He decided to be a creepy clown, complete with make-up and red hair. I was in disbelief that he'd actually allow me to put face make-up on him, but once he made up his mind about who he wanted to be, he wanted to go all out (and since he couldn't wear a mask to school, make-up was the only solution). We couldn't find any red afro clown wigs, so I just spiked up his hair with gel and used spray-in hair color. He was satisfied with the look.

On Monday the 29th I took him to Rexburg. I had to do some shopping, and had heard that Fat Cats was doing a Trunk or Treat. It was such cold, windy weather that they ended up doing it inside. A bunch of businesses had booths with information, discounts, and candy. We had to wait in a long line, and the amount of candy he got wasn't great, so we decided we won't do it again next year. He wore a mask to this event, since we'd been walking around stores beforehand, and he didn't want to draw attention. He just put the costume on over his regular clothes and put on the mask before waiting in line. He hated wearing the mask because the breathing holes were small and his face was getting sweaty.

He had his first band concert on the evening of Tuesday, October 30. He plays the trombone in the beginning band, and they had one song "This is Halloween" at the concert with the other junior high and high school bands. The band students dressed in costume for the event, and they had a costume contest. It turned out better than I thought it would; it was a fun event, didn't last too long, and the songs that the kids played sounded great! Kanyon got 3rd place in the 6th grade for his costume. This was the first time we put all the make-up on, and it took about 20 minutes to get the hair and make-up all done. He looked awesome! Definitely creepy... in fact, when we arrived at the concert, we saw one of his 6th grade teachers and she wasn't expecting to see a creepy clown, and she totally got freaked out when she saw him!
Make-up and hair round 1 for the band concert

He was in the back center. All I could see of him was his red hair and white forehead!

October 31 was a crazy, fun day! The elementary school kids wore their costumes all day, they had a costume parade walk through the school that afternoon, I had a class party, Kanyon had a junior high dance, and then that night we went to the ward's outdoor chili feed and Trunk or Treat together. There was a ton of people that came to the ward party, and I ran out of candy (I'd bought 8 bags!!). Kanyon was happy, because his friend Jackson came (although it was a little late so I didn't get a photo of them because it was dark by then). They went around the entire parking lot, and he came back with his bucket totally loaded with candy! Halloween for the win! I'm glad it's cool at least for another year! ;)
Make-up and Hair Round 2 for school

My cute class!

Me with my teaching team partner. She went all out
as a fabulously dressed witch this year!

Make-up round 3 for the ward party!
His classmate Boone had a fabulous wig!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Salmon Idol 2018

I competed in Salmon Idol last year with a student named Peyton, and we won the competition. This year, we returned as guest performers. For weeks and months leading up to the event, we couldn't decide what to sing. This year, the theme was "Miscast"--so songs that are usually sung by boys would be sung by girls in the competition, and vice versa. We weren't required to follow the theme, but I thought it would be fun if we did. We started talking about ideas last spring, but no inspirational ideas really started coming to me until August. Every time I'd get an idea, I'd text Peyton and ask what she thought. A half dozen ideas later, and time was running out. About two weeks before the show, I knew it was crunch time. We finally agreed on the song "I kissed a girl" by Katy Perry. Although it's sung by a girl, and we were both girls, we could turn it around and act like guys singing about kissing a girl! We practiced only one weekend, and decided what our costumes, stage blocking, and props would be. It came together so quickly! It was a lot less stressful than last year, when we practiced every weekend for a month (but that work definitely paid off!). Peyton dressed up like a jock, and I was a nerd. We worked out who would sing what line, according to what our characters might say, and we created the harmony for when we sang together. We had SO much fun! It has been such a ball performing with her the past two years! 

Transformation Tuesday!!!

I'm very self-conscious about these photos. I knew when
I wore this outfit, that I would be promoting a non-flattering
side of myself. However, I wanted to be in character and tuck
in my shirt, and I was proud of myself for fitting in to these
jeans even with my tucked shirt--I had worked all summer
and fall to lose weight and at this point I was down 15 pounds!

My friend Jen was in the front row, and she kindly took 
these photos of me! ;) BTW, I borrowed this wig from a 
  former student of mine at WJ, and it was perfect, dontcha think?!

Peyton and I type-casted ourselves into these roles!
I NEVER could've passed for a jock!! ;)

Josh took a video of it for me. SIDE NOTE: I instructed him how to use my camera to video before the show started, and even modeled it for him. I stressed how important it was to focus it BEFORE pushing the button to record, because then it never auto-focuses after that. He said he already knew that, and was kind of irritated that I was showing him. However, this video is proof of WHY I was trying to go in to detail with him, because I knew this would happen! Please excuse the blurriness...

We have the meat!

Josh, Jonah, and Micah each got a deer tag this year. And they all tagged a deer, too! It was quite the adventure...

On opening day, Josh took the twins up to the neighbor Mark's house before daylight. As soon as they got out of the truck, a big buck was right in Mark's yard staring at them, but it was too dark to shoot. They got themselves all set up ready to shoot, and just as it was about light to, the buck ran off. Jonah took a shot at it when it was at the end of the field, but thought he missed, because the buck ran over the hill. Right after that, the little one-horned one (it lost its other antler in our hammock over a month earlier) ran up in the middle of the field, and Jonah took a shot at it, and it went down. Josh took Jonah down into the field, and Jonah started to clean it. Josh then went with Micah to look for the big one. They saw it over in the field below Harris' in the sagebrush. Micah rested his gun on a post trying to get a shot. As soon as he was ready to take the shot, it disappeared into the sagebrush. Grandpa came up on the four wheeler, and he went over and helped Jonah while Josh and Micah walked back up the road towards Harris' driveway. When they walked over the cattleguard, there was some little bucks coming out of Harris' yard and into the field above our house. They waited there to see if they could get a shot, but then the deer walked back into the Harris' hard. Josh and Micah walked over to the wheel line to get a better angle and get them flushed down into the field. Right then, they saw the big one again at the end of Harris' yard. Josh left Micah there, resting on the wheel line, and he walked down trying to get the buck out of the yard and into the field where he could get a shot. After a bit, the big buck stepped out far enough where he could take a shot. He took a shot, and missed. The shot made the little bucks scatter and the big one ran off partway into the field. Josh could see it dragging its leg, and realized that Jonah's initial shot had actually hit in him the leg. The big buck stopped. Micah didn't have a shot from where he was at, so Josh took a shot and knocked him down. Josh and Micah slowly worked their way towards the buck in the middle of the field. Every time they got close, the buck would stand up and move. They continued towards it, doing this same pattern over and over. Eventually the big buck got up and ran down to the big berm on the edge of the field that borders the gravel pit. He laid back down, with his back facing where Josh and Micah were. This forced them to try and approach from a different angle. When they got close enough, Micah took another shot, and hit its jaw. The buck stayed down. They walked close enough to the animal, and thought that it was finally down for good, so Josh put down his gun to get his knife out to slit its throat. Suddenly at that moment, the buck went over the edge of the berm. Josh picked back up his gun to finish it off and got up so that he could get a good view of the buck, but the buck then fell over the edge and down into the gravel pit. Micah and Josh worked their way down to the bottom of the gravel pit, and the deer was STILL alive even though it had been shot 3 times and had fallen off the cliff! Josh finished him off with a shot to the head with a pistol and slit its throat. It was the craziest hunting account! The 3 of them each had a shot in it, and the whole process took over an hour between the first shot and the last shot! 

This is the biggest buck any of our boys have ever shot,
and it took 3 shots just to get it down!! It had a strong
will to survive, and even toppled over the edge into
the gravel pit before coming to its final resting place.

Jonah's deer had already started growing a new antler in the 
6 weeks since it lost its other one in our backyard hammock.
This black stub was the most interesting antler we've
ever see! It looks like a knife handle stuck in its skull!

Josh got hunting bags this year to cover the bodies with,
rather than using sheets, which were handy! Micah's
deer was SUPER heavy, and they could barely lift it
up onto the hook in grandpa's shop. 

The meat hung for a few days until we had
time to process it on the weekend. Josh cut the meat 
and the twins put it in a bag, and 
transported the contents to the house. 

Kanyon helped me grind the meat and I 
packaged it. 

From just Jonah and Micah's tagged deer, we got 7 roasts and 55 pounds of burger!

Josh continued to keep on the lookout, but even ten days after opening day, he hadn't spotted anything that he'd had the opportunity to shoot at. He decided he wanted to walk down through Perreau Creek Meadows. It was fantastic weather on the afternoon of Saturday the 20th, so we drove up to the Ridge Road and I dropped him off with his gun, some water, and snacks. His instructions for me were to drive up as far as I could get up Perreau Creek in about 3 hours time. It felt weird abandoning him on that mountain! He walked 6.5 miles during that time (without cell service which scared me) and didn't spot any deer--only other hunters! I drove up as far as I could get in the Jeep and waited for him, just like he'd instructed. The sun was starting to set, and I was getting nervous that I would lose all visibility and that he'd be stuck up on the mountain somewhere, but thankfully he came shortly after that. As we drove down Perreau Creek, he was on the lookout for deer roaming in nearby fields, and as we got to the Perreau Creek Road/Williams Creek Road intersection, he spotted some in his dad's field below Mark's house. He pulled over, and scoped out the field. Sure enough, there was a buck! He drove the Jeep into the field, parked it, got out, got himself set up, and took a shot at the buck he'd spotted, and got it in a single shot! It was twilight when he took it down. If he'd gotten off the mountain any later, the visibility wouldn't have been good for him to see the deer or take a shot, so the timing was perfect! He gutted the deer in the last of the daylight while the moon was visible overhead. We stuffed it into the back of the Jeep (I even had to help and it was SO gross!) and took it to his dad's shop to hang up. We waited for a few days before cutting it up and processing it together (it didn't take as long since it was just one deer). I had come home mid-week to perform at Salmon Idol, so that night after we got home, we worked on the job as a family once again and got it done in no time! Josh's deer produced 2 roasts and 24 pounds of burger. It is always so rewarding to have a freezer full of meat that the boys harvested and that we've worked together to process! 

McCall in Fall

Josh had golf course meetings in McCall on October 1 & 2. Since I was off for harvest break, I decided to go with Josh to McCall, too. I was so excited! I hadn't gone with him to the fall golf course meetings for years, and I absolutely love when it's in McCall! He is back on the Idaho GCSA board again, and they always meet the night before the semi-annual meetings start, so we had to be there on the evening of Sunday September 30. There was a golf tournament at the Salmon course that Sunday morning, so before we could leave to McCall, Josh had to go in and get the golf course ready.  I went in to work with him on Sunday morning first to help him get done faster. The wind had blown during the night, so branches were all over the place. Josh was pretty stressed out about getting done what he needed to, plus picking up the branches, and be done in time for the morning tournament to start. It was raining and we both got soaked while trying to get everything done! 

By the time we got home from work, the younger boys had already gone to church with Grandma and Grandpa. We thought we would have time to say goodbye, but we didn't realize that Josh's parents were going in to church so early (probably for choir practice). We took a warm shower, and headed on our way. It's about a 6 hour drive to McCall from Salmon, but the time passed quickly in the car with Josh. I love having time alone with him! We stopped a couple of times on the way to take pictures of the fall scenery that we passed--it's such a beautiful drive!

On Sunday night, Josh met with the IGCSA board, and they went out to dinner together to a really nice, upscale restaurant. He had meetings all day on Monday, and I just stayed at the hotel. I worked on blogging, watching TV, and relaxing in the hot tub. We went out to a gourmet pizza place for dinner that night together. 

On Tuesday, I dropped him off at his meetings that morning so I could have the car for the day. I checked out of the hotel, did some shopping in town, and met up with my friend Ellen who moved to McCall over the summer. We ate lunch together along with her youngest son Grayson. It was wonderful catching up with her! I went for a drive up to Riggins and back, and then through Ponderosa State Park. It was an overcast, drizzly day, but the scenery was so peaceful and I really enjoyed myself! I picked up Josh from the golf course--after his meetings he'd golfed 18 holes with some other Superintendents, and he was quite soaked and ready to go! 

We decided that we would stop at Kirkham Hot Springs near Lowman on the way home. We've talked about going there before, but never had. On the way to McCall, it was overflowing with people, but it was also a Sunday afternoon, and we thought it would be a lot less busy on a Tuesday evening when we came back through. Thankfully, we were right. There were only a couple of other people in the hot springs that evening. The nearby campground was closed for the winter, so we just changed our clothes in the car. The hot springs felt wonderful--they have several waterfalls, and different pools are different temperatures as a result of the nearby river and water flow currents. We got there just in time to enjoy the last bit of sunlight. We stayed for about an hour. When we were getting ready to leave, we began the hike back up the mountain side and I about passed out. I don't know if it was from the heat or from bending over trying to climb, but I couldn't catch my breath, and I had to sit for a few minutes on some nearby rocks until my head felt stable enough to finish the short but steep hike back out to the car. I'm glad we decided to stop at the hot springs--it broke up the drive home, and it was something we've wanted to do for quite sometime along that drive but never had before.  

The whole getaway was so relaxing for me, and was just what I needed! I was grateful for the time spent with Josh, and for the chance to have a few days without any schedules or demands! It's nice having older kids that we can trust at home, so that we can have opportunities to do things like this once in a while!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

September 2018 Randoms

Labor Day weekend
It was beautiful weather, and we had a weekend packed with fun, friends, and food! On Saturday, we drove up to Freeman Peak with the twins to ride/hike. When we got back to town, we went out to dinner and dessert with John, Amanda, and Ryan. On Sunday afternoon, we took the boys golfing and then invited the Williams family over that night for smores at the firepit. On Monday, Josh and I went jeeping and exploring up Geertson Creek. Abby came over to play with Kanyon for the day, and I made my first roast with potatoes in the crock pot for dinner that night. 
Jeeping up to Freeman Peak

The boys enjoyed our relaxing Sunday afternoons on the golf course!
They were definitely improving their game, too!

Jeeping up Geertson Creek

Home grown potatoes and corn on the cob, and venison roast that we harvested, too!

These buddies play so well together!

XC Meet Mishaps
Jonah and Micah both got injured on their eyes at the Tiger Grizz XC meet, which was totally coincidental, but I thought it was hilarious that they both got hurt on the same day, in the same area of their bodies, yet in totally different incidents. Jonah hit a tree branch as he was rounding a corner during the JV race. The branch hit his glasses, which flew off, and also scratched him under his right eye. He stooped to pick up his glasses, and kept running, although the scratch burned under his eye from the sweat dripping in to it. Micah got stung by a bee while he was running in the varsity race. When the bee came up under his glasses, he swatted at the bee, but hit his glasses in the process and they flew off. He quickly bent over to pick them up, and kept running, although in the process he got stung under his left eye, and his eye started to swell.  After I'd heard about both of their injuries, I started laughing because I couldn't believe the similarities! It was funny to me that identical twins both had their glasses come off on the same day during their races!!

WJ Homecoming
On the "twins" dress up day, I wore a picture on my lanyard of my twins when they were younger. Kanyon and his best bud Jackson dressed up identically in their XC camp shirts. I took my elementary students to tour the high school halls that they decorate elaborately for Homecoming week. The theme this year was "Games", and I was super impressed with the decorations. Students in Salmon decorate Main Street business windows and floats they ride on in the homecoming parade, but WJ doesn't have enough stores on Main Street to decorate the windows, nor do they have a parade, so they tend to go all out on decorating their class halls!

Josh and I both unknowingly took pictures of the evening sky just a day apart from each other in the middle of September. Kanyon wanted to show me one of his practice runs down "Apple Lane", so we drove around until we found the lane with a ton of huge crab apple trees (we hardly ever just 'drive around' when we're at Terreton, so it took a while to find it). When we stopped, I saw a face in the sky. By the time my phone's camera turned on, the clouds had slightly moved, but I still took the pic. One night, Josh was at the golf course working and the colorful sunset was reflecting in the ditch water, which then made the water look pink. It's a breathtaking shot, and I'm glad he captured it! The last one is a strange cloud formation I saw while parked at one of the bridge construction temporary stoplights on Highway 28. There were 5 stoplights all spring/summer/fall and I hated having to stop so much in that stretch! It made the long drive seem even longer, so any time there was anything different to see (like wild animals or cloud formations) while I was stopped, it was a welcome change!
Above and to the left of the power pole is a
flat cloud that looked like a mouth and there
were two tiny circle clouds above it that looked
like eyes. You can only see one of the eyes
below the larger set of clouds, as the other
eye was beginning to dissolve when I took this.

I love this picture that Josh captured on hole 8 at the golf course!

It looked like a funnel filling up the bowl in between the distant mountain peaks.

Girl Time!
After the boys' races at the Bob Firman XC meet in Eagle, I left and drove myself over to Baker City, Oregon, while Josh drove the kids home on the bus with him to Salmon. My friend Amy had moved there the previous year, and I hadn't seen her since. We went out to dinner that night, and caught up over some gourmet pizza. We then went back to her house, dressed in our PJ's, and watched a movie on TV before bed. It was so fun to spend time with her again! I got up early the next morning, and had breakfast with her and Todd before he left for his high council assignment. Her family had afternoon church, and I had to leave before then, so I couldn't go to church with them, but the bishopric in Salmon was getting re-done that morning, so I waited until after Josh texted me with all the information about it before leaving, because she was dying to know, too! I drove back to Mud Lake and went out to dinner in Idaho Falls that evening with my friend Tanis. Her mom had recently died, and I hadn't had a chance to talk to her since it happened. We laughed and cried, and it was a very memorable night. The next day, I had a teacher workday in Mud Lake for teacher inservice. As soon as it was over, I drove to Ogden to go visit Amanda and Ryan. I got there later than planned--just in time to get Ryan from work. Amanda made us dinner, and then she and I went on a fun car ride "dragging main" in Ryan's sweet Mazda Miata. When I was a teenager, I used to wish for a Mazda Miata when I was older, so it was a joy to ride in! She put down the top, and we had the wind whip in our hair. I felt so young! That night, I slept in their bed with them while we watched a movie. She's like a sister to me, so it's not strange at all! The next morning, she colored my hair at the salon that she works part-time at the Associated Foods outlet. We went out to lunch together before I left and drove back home to Salmon. Spending time with some of my best friends was a great way to kick off my two-week spud harvest break!!

Josh sent me this photo of their Sunday dinner. I definitely 
 missed him and being home, especially as this photo arrived
 midway on my 5-hour lonely drive between Baker City and Terreton. 

Tanis ordered this beautiful mixed drink called 
"Taste the Rainbow". She said it tasted just like
fruity pebbles! I liked the colored tiers!

I tried to get a picture of us, but my camera is crap in bad-lighting situations.
I love these two people so much!!