Friday, October 31, 2014

October 2014 on FB

October 1: Kanyon (my 7 year old) just came into my room, looked at my pincushion, and rearranged it for me. I had no idea what he was even doing, until he brought it to me and said "Look: I put all the silver ones together here, and all the colorful ones together here". I admit I am so proud of him for his OCD organizing skills (because I have them too!)!!!

October 3: Jonah and Micah have a football game tomorrow at 10:30 in Rigby, and Ammon has a XC race in Challis at 12:30. It's hard to be in two places at the same time! This is exactly the reason why after this year we will no longer have our pumpkin patch--because fall sports produce hectic schedules!! The patch will be open starting next weekend, though, and we are excited for our last year!

October 5: We have loved having 4 days off of school!! We have stayed up late, slept in, and went camping one last time for the season at Challis Hot Springs. And the sunshine this afternoon is just glorious--it doesn't even feel like October weather!

October 7: Best part of my day? Reading to Kanyon's class at school. I told him so, and he replied with "that was my favorite part, too!". Even better!!!

October 8: It's been 3 months and I've lost 17 pounds. Still have 23 more pounds to lose in 4 months in order to go to Mexico!!! I'm almost halfway there!

October 10: Our pumpkin patch opens today and we are so ready! Got the pies and fudge made, got the decorations and activities all set up, and the pumpkins are ready to be moved from storage back into the field. It's gonna be a good day!

October 12: I love fall. I love everything about it. Except for maybe football on TV every day and night. But then, I think that's what my boys love the most about fall!!!

October 14: Ammon's cross-country meet tomorrow is on home turf--more specifically, Josh's turf at the golf course! I'm looking forward to it!

October 17: We are halfway done with our pumpkin patch's sale days, and we still have about 200 pumpkins left! We have been blessed with sunny weather weekend days, and have enjoyed the customers who have come out! Thanks for your support

October 19: Right now, I'm watching my sons scrub the carpet. For months, I've been telling the boys to STOP eating in the living room, but they continued to do it. So last month, I implemented a new policy: if you eat in the living room, you have to scrub a spot out of the carpet. There has been a LOT less eating on the carpeted floor now, and it kinda makes me glad when they do, because I enjoy seeing them perform child labor to clean up after themselves!

October 20: It's been exactly 3.5 months since I started this weight-loss journey--the midway point in time between July (when I started) and February (when I wanted to take the Mexico trip). I told myself back in July that if I hadn't lost 20 pounds (half of my goal weight) by today, that I wouldn't be booking our Mexico trip for February. As of today, I've lost 18 pounds--just 2 lbs. short of my halfway goal! Knowing that we're heading into the holiday months makes me even more worried that I won't make it to 40 pounds by February if I haven't lost 20 pounds by this point. So...we have decided to postpone the trip, which is both good and sad for me!

October 22: I'm super proud of Ammon--he just ran at the district XC race this afternoon, and had his best race of the year and got 12th place!!! Also, I was so excited for their team because both the Salmon boys AND girls teams received 1st place in our District!!! What an awesome accomplishment for them all!!

October 23: AT&T took over our Alltel cell service this week, and since then, I've had no cell service on my phone while I'm at home. If you've tried to call me or text me, and I haven't replied, I'm so sorry--I don't get the messages until after I leave home and go up or down my driveway a ways. It's super frustrating!

October 25: We sold out of pumpkins in our patch halfway through our last sales day today. It's been a great season and we feel so blessed! I think I shall make a pumpkin pie tonight just for us to eat to celebrate!

October 26: I make terrible pancakes, and always have. Thankfully, Josh's pancakes are really good, so he's the official pancake flipper in our home. But, this morning, I had an idea to make pumpkin pancakes for breakfast, and I thought that maybe I could redeem myself from my past pancake errors. The boys were so happy that I was actually making breakfast and said "this feels like Christmas morning!" because apparently that's the only morning a year we make a home-cooked breakfast! Unfortunately, they turned out awful!! I hereby vow to not convince myself in the future that I am capable of making any kind of pancakes!

October 27: I will be performing/competing at Salmon Idol tomorrow night! My friend Amanda and I are singing a duet together at the show, and I'm so excited to share our song with the audience!!

October 28: I love singing, dancing, and performing with my "bestie" Amanda! And tonight, we did all 3 together and won 1st place at Salmon Idol!!! We are still in shock--but we had SOOO much fun practicing and performing the song "Sisters" together!

You're gonna hear me ROAR!

I just love Katy Perry. I am a big fan! I love her songs, her costumes, the variety in her song topics and music tempos, and I love her outgoing personality! When I found out earlier in the year that her concert tour included a stop in SLC in September, I knew I wanted to go! I purchased the tickets in February, and looked forward with much anticipation for the end of September to come!!  

The concert was on Monday night of Sept. 29. We left Salmon about noon, because we both worked that morning. We drove to Tremonton, and stopped briefly to visit with my parents. Then we drove to Bountiful and ate dinner at Costa Vida. We still made it to Salt Lake City about an hour before the concert began! We got a good parking spot, and found our seats inside. Our seats were in the upper section again, but I didn't get the cheapest seats this time, so we had a decent spot in the lower half of the center section. The stage was directly in front of us, which was awesome!

As we waited for the show to begin, we liked people watching. There was a lot of people that dressed up like Katy Perry for her concert, which was fun! It made me wish I had, too!! We have never been to a concert with SOOO many little girls in attendance! I think half of the audience was little girls! It was a lot! There's apparently a girl fan club called "Katy's Kittys", and most of the girls in the audience wore cat ears as a symbol that they belong to the club. Who knew?! (not me) Also, for her Prismatic Tour, everyone in the audience received free prismatic light glasses. I only wore them during two of the songs, but it was a fun addition to the show!

There were two opening acts before Katy came on stage. The first one was some guy who I can't remember how to pronounce his name. He was weird. And the bright lights that he had going during two of his songs shone directly into our faces, which was super annoying!
the bright light forced us to look away!
The second opening act was Tegan and Sara, and they were alright. The only song of theirs that I recognized was "Everything is Awesome". That song was also the only reason I've ever even heard of them before, and recognized their names.

At 9:00, Katy came on stage out of a giant pyramid that opened up with her inside. The crowd went wild!

She performed for almost two solid hours, singing 23 songs, and changing her costume 10 times. She was a terrific performer! I enjoyed every second of her show! I cannot believe how incredibly coordinated all of her songs, clothes, props. dancers, microphones, lights, videos, and special effects are! I was seriously in awe the entire time! I couldn't stop taking photos of what was happening in front of my eyes! I knew I wouldn't be able to explain to people who asked "how the concert was", so I tried to document it through the lens instead...

 Her first song was one of my favorites: "Roar". I just love this song! She wore a glow-in-the-dark outfit, and the dancers all had bold and colorful outfits, too.

She stayed in the same outfit for the next few songs. For "Part of Me", the lights went out, and you could see all the glowing parts of her costume, and they used glowing jump ropes, too.

I put my prismatic glasses on for the song "Wide Awake", because there was a lot of colorful lights constantly moving during it.

I'd never heard her next two songs before: "This Moment" and "Love Me". They were sentimental and moving.

The next song was Josh's favorite: "Dark Horse". She came out on a large horse that was moved by two men inside. She wore an Egyptian outfit, and the dancers all did, too. It was awesome!

"Dark Horse" moved right into the song "E.T.". Everyone still wore their Egyptian clothes, but instead of the horse, there were some acrobats that moved on a giant metal prism. It was fascinating to watch the 3 acrobats move on it, and the prism changed directions with their movement. Then at the end of the song, they lifted Katy on to it as well.

Then she sang another song I'd never heard before "Legendary Lovers", and she and her Egyptian dressed dancers acted out a scene. Then it went into "I Kissed a Girl", and the dancers came out wearing big curvy girl costumes. They cracked me up!

She came out next wearing a giant cat costume for "Hot n Cold", which was kind of weird, but all of her kitty fans loved it! The little girls in the audience were screaming wildly when she first came up out of the stage on a large ball of yarn.

Then she started the song "International Smile", and she, along with all the other cat dancers, played and danced on a giant cat condo, then they put on giant cat items like food and toys and walked around the "catwalk". It was so over-the-top silly, but she is able to make it appear so cool and awesome!

Then an enormous sunflower canopy came down, she left for a costume change, and the whole environment changed from silly to spiritual, and she sang "By the Grace of God".

She was a fabulous performer, and would take breaks once in a while from singing to talk to the audience. At one point, she took someone's cell phone and got a selfie of her with the crowd, which was so fun! Then at another point, she pulled up a little 10-year old boy and gave him a pizza and talked to him. She asked him who his favorite singer was, and he didn't say a word. The whole audience burst into laughter! Then she explained that she is now on a gluten-free diet, and she can't eat pizza crust anymore, so she told him to enjoy the pizza, and she began to sing "The One That Got Away" which was meshed with " Thinking of You".

Then for her next song, the dancers brought out giant fabric butterflies, and flew them around as she sang "Unconditionally". It was so beautiful, I teared up! It's another one of my favorites of hers!

Then she changed clothes again, and the mood went from spiritual to fun. Her next song was "Walking on Air". Josh loved her outfit for this one! She sang and danced on stage with her neon dancers, and then she got lifted into the air as a giant sheet of silk covered the air.

She sang "It Takes Two" next, and I liked how her 69 dress transformed from the floor up. As she was raised up from a platform, the yin/yang dress got larger.

When the song was over, and the platform went back down, she was magically back in her smiley outfit, and some large inflatables were brought out on the ground level of some of the icons used in the music video "This is How We Do".

The song "This is How We Do" was also mashed up with the song "Last Friday Night", during which they drove around the stage in a large inflatable car.

Then she changed clothes once again, and for the song "Teenage Dream", she donned a fluorescent green leaf skirt and bright yellow socks, and a leopard print top.

For "California Gurls", giant neon light-up letters were rolled on to the stage to make different words, and it eventually spelled the word "Hollywood".

Then the concert ended, and the lights went out, and the audience got super loud, and she came back out again with 2 encore songs.

The first was "Birthday", which halfway through, there was a large break, and she pulled someone onto the stage whose birthday was that day. She talked to him for a few minutes, then finished singing the song as the platform he was on became a giant birthday cake, and she was pulled into the air by some balloons on a wire.

The final song of her concert was another one of my favorites "Firework". I had been waiting the whole concert to hear this, and was so glad that it was her finale number!!!

Katy Perry in concert was spectacular! I was so glad we went! It was well worth the cost of the ticket, and the drive down and back!!!

When the concert was over, we drove back to my parents' home in Tremonton to spend the night. We got there after midnight, and went straight to bed. We woke up the next morning early, and drove back to Salmon by 11:30am, because Josh and I had to both work that afternoon. It was a whirlwind trip, but an unforgettable and memorable one!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

How Did My Garden Grow

I love growing a garden, and eating fresh food straight from it!! The weather was so good this fall, that we were eating from our garden into late September! It was awesome! I didn't do hardly any canning this year, which was a nice change from years past. 

We cut down the pear tree in our yard late last fall, so we no longer grow any pears, which is a relief to me as I don't like them and always felt guilty if I didn't pick them and do something with them. The big transparent apple tree only grows fruit every other year, so this was its year off, which was also nice because I usually spend a lot of time picking the apples and canning them. The smaller apple tree that grows red apples only a grew a few fruit this year, and the boys picked them and threw them in an apple war during our family barbecue in August. I didn't realize it until after the fact; I was irritated at first, but I got over it. There was only one fruit-bearing tree in our yard that I partook of this year, and it was a surprise to me--the plum tree! Josh gave me a flowering plum tree 5 years ago for my birthday, but he thought it was a non-fruit bearing tree. It grew 4 plums this year, though, and they were so delicious! I am hoping the peach trees that we planted 2 years ago will start bearing fruit next year--they grew so well this year. One of the mowing clients that Ammon has let me pick some of the peaches off her tree, and I ate peaches for breakfast and also for snacks everyday for two weeks in August, and it was absolutely divine!

In the garden by our home, we grew raspberries and rhubarb, and I planted strawberries this year. I didn't cut or eat any rhubarb this year, which is strange because it is my favorite! But I started going on a dessert-free, less-sugar diet in July which was about the same time that they were full and ripe, and I worried that if I made any kind of rhubarb dessert with it, I would eat it all! There were only a few strawberries that grew, but the birds nibbled on them, so next year I will have to put some kind of netting over them to protect them. Thankfully, I had a lot of raspberries to pick--more than the previous 2 years (when we planted them), which was exciting! I ate bowls of them (with milk) for breakfast 4 times, and Josh and I picked and ate them off the bushes for months. We have two kinds of raspberries: red and golden, and they were my favorite thing we grew this year!

In the garden spot by our driveway, we grew corn, potatoes, onions, and about a 1/4 acre of pumpkins. The onions didn't do so well this year, because they weren't weeded very well. We only got about 25 total, and they were all very small. The corn did fabulous, though. We ate corn on the cob for dinner 5 or 6 times throughout August and September, and then in mid-September, I spent one evening freeze canning the rest.

I saw an idea that someone posted on facebook of using a angel food cake pan to help process the corn, and it worked fabulously!!
The corn freezing process didn't seem as overwhelming this year--it felt like the right amount of corn to cook and process, and I got it all done in one afternoon/evening. We ended up with 14 bags of it, which is just about right for the year--I just barely finished using the last bag from last year's freezer corn, so this was perfect timing, too!

We grew Red and Yukon Gold potatoes this year. We've dug up and ate two loads out of our garden already, and we aren't even half done digging them all up yet! They are so delicious and we love eating baked, boiled, fried, and mashed potatoes!

We planted less variety of pumpkins this year, and this was the highest crop we've ever reaped for sure! We spent 10 days in September picking pumpkins out of the patch. We took over 7 trailer loads to storage sheds, and each trailer had approximately 100 pumpkins on it--which means we grew about 750 large pumpkins this year!! We also grew mini pumpkins, and we had several boxes full of those, and we grew some white pumpkins in our neighbor Frank's garden, so the number of overall pumpkins is over 900.

We feel so blessed for our productive garden this year! Summer produce is always so delicious, and I've really missed eating the fresh raspberries and corn the last few weeks! It's kind of sad to see the plants die and turn brown, but I've already been making plans for next year's garden, and am looking forward to reaping what we sow once again!