Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving traditions!

I love to make pies for Thanksgiving.  It makes me happy.  I make Jeff an apple pie, since that's his favorite.  I like to make a pumpkin pie because it doesn't feel like Thanksgiving without it.  I also make cream pies because they remind me of my dad.  Every year that I can remember my dad would be in the kitchen helping with the stuffing or what not for Thanksgiving dinner.  His specialty was to make the cream pies!  He always  had banana cream and a chocolate cream.  He did others, but those were my favorite!  I love carrying on that tradition for my kids and it brings back good memories for me too! 
This is the awesome apple pie I made.  It was so good!  It is a crust recipe I haven't done very much, but it really was amazing!  Sure the turkey was good and mashed potatoes yummy, but the pies really are Thanksgiving to me ;)
Growing up the other tradition was Shop-til-you drop day!  I think it's more commonly referred to as Black Friday now :).  I haven't really gotten into this crazy shopping day for years.  There is so much that can be done online and even before or after this big sale day that it doesn't make shopping in huge crowds, fighting over some silly gift, really late or early in the morning, sound really appealing.  Well, now that I have a sister-in-law in town to shop with it was worth heading out to brave the crazy crowds.  The stores opened at 6 pm on Thanksgiving night... that was new.  We didn't want to leave the family that early so we headed out once the kids went to bed.  It wasn't that crazy and we found most of the stuff on our lists. 
I think the best part of the long shopping night was spending it together.  Tiffany is so great and we really have so much fun together!  I'm glad she is close so we can do silly things like this together!
Here we on in a department store in the mall sitting on the floor trying on fun rings.  
By the time we made it to Walmart there was no one there.  It was actually pretty creepy!

Shopping was a little crazy because we left a bag at the register and then we went back for a movie that was forgotten, but otherwise it was a fun night!  I'm glad we were able to get some of the fun stuff for the kids' Christmas ;).

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Turkey Bowl

This year Talmage wanted to participate in the ward Turkey Bowl!  Jeff went with him to play.  There was a great turnout from the ward with about 50-60 adults and kids there to play. 
On one play they threw the ball to Jeff, but it was right in the sun so he missed it.  Talmage then screamed "Daddy!"  Kind of bad when the 12 year old is picking on his dad for missing the catch!  Later in the game Talmage caught a ball in the end zone for a touch down.  Then Jeff was getting picked on that his kid was showing him up.  Jeff did redeem himself with an interception that he took in for a touch down! 
Here they are :)
Talmage :)

Maybe next year they will split up into 2 teams :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

District Fashion Show!

Today was the day of the District Fashion Show!  I don't think I ever feel ready for these things.  I like to think it's because I've never been to a district fashion show before, but really, I guess it's just a lot more pressure at the district level... more competition for sure!  Talmage and Sandra were ready.  We got there just in time to send them off to be judged.  Each participant is interviewed for 4 minutes by the judges.  There is a list of possible questions that the children get so they can prepare their answers, but they don't know which questions will be asked.  The judge can also ask about anything they have done that has led up to the fashion show - like learning about wool, or price comparison shopping, etc.  After the judging there was also an official fashion show where they walk and show off their outfit and are judged (for a different award) on how they walk and present themselves.  

It felt like forever before they returned.  By the time they got back they got to start practicing for the catwalk part of the fashion show.  

It took a little coercing, but Talmage decided to walk with confidence and really do an awesome walk!  Some of his poses were a little funny, but really he did pretty great!

Posing at the end of the catwalk

Sandra took lots of time to practice.  She was really nervous about this part.  She didn't like being in front of all of the people and she didn't like that her feet made a loud noise as she walked on the platform.  After walking several times with me (just on our own) and giving her some good pointers she was ready to do it alone.  She practiced several times by herself and really got comfortable up there.  She walked a little too fast, but she did great!

She also got into the idea of twirling.  On her time doing the walk for the judges she twirled several times on her way back up the catwalk.  Silly girl :)

Then it was time for the awards.  Sandra got first place in her division!  I was so happy for her and she seemed so surprised!  It was a priceless moment to see her face!
She was in the Buying: Dressy category. 

Here she is posing with the 2nd and 3rd place participants. 

Talmage got 2nd place in his division.  He was disappointed he didn't get first, but later while talking about it he did say he had a problem with one part of the interview so that was probably why he didn't get first.  I know he is still happy to have his 2nd place medal :).  

Here he is with the 1st and 3rd place participants from his division, Buying: Fantastic fashions under $25.

Our whole 4-H club that did fashion really did a great job!  Here they are showing off all of their medals and ribbons :)

Our two little fashion stars :)

I'm sure the kids will be ready to do it all again for next year's fashion show!

Little Chefs!

Our kids had their county Food Show last week!  The oldest three participated and were on their own teams.  It was fun to get to work with them over the last 8 weeks or so to prepare for this competition. 

They had practiced so much they were ready for their food challenge!

Here are the teams:  Oh and their aprons/outfits are all too cute!

Classy Cooks - Sandra's team

Flaming Marshmallows - Talmage's team

The Legendaries - Grant's team

At the end of the night only two of the teams competing for a position could move on to the district competition... 
The Classy Cooks took second and got to move on.  

Sandra was so happy.  The boys were both disappointed, but still really enjoyed the competition.  Each participant leaves with a goodie bag so I think that helped the let down of not winning ;).  It is amazing to see that these junior level girls (3rd to 5th graders) were able to do so well in a division that included kids up to the 8th grade!  They worked great as a team and presented well as a team too!  

We are so proud of all of our kids for all of that they have worked so hard to learn!  They sure love to cook!

Walking Across Texas!

Our 4-H club decided to participate in Walk Across Texas this year.  We track our miles we walk (or exercise for) during an 8 week period.  By the end of it we could have walked across Texas!  As a reward for all of our efforts we met for our last walk together at a park and walked to Dairy Queen!  We then got some ice cream to celebrate and then headed back to the park.  It was a very cold morning, but the ice cream was still good enough motivation to get us out to walk!  

Here are the kids walking :)

Our group outside waiting for Dairy Queen to open.

Lorna enjoying her spoils... well, she rode in the stroller so I guess maybe she wasn't so deserving, but she loved it just the same.

The kids enjoying their Blizzards.  I was surprised to realize this was the first time my kids have eaten a Blizzard.  I guess we usually don't splurge like this... usually I just buy the half gallon of Blue Bell and we enjoy it at home ;). 

Happy Walking everyone!

The Alpaca Farm!

Our 4-H Club had a field trip a couple of weeks ago to a nearby Alpaca Farm.  We got to see the sheared wool and all of the cool things that can be done with it.  We also learned all about the alpaca and how to care for them.  We even got to see and pet many alpaca.  It was a great field trip and the kids had a great time.  Afterwards they all decided that they want to have their own alpaca farm :).  They are pretty cute!

Here we are learning all about the alpaca wool.

Sandra learning how to use the loom to make an alpaca blanket.

Cute Clark!

Mhari got a turn too!

Lorna climbing the fence to see the alpaca.  She really liked them... from a safe distance ;)




Mhari helping lead the Alpaca

Learning how to trip the alpaca's toe nails!

Two of the baby boys!  They were sooooo cute!

Here are the newer baby girls and their moms.

The first baby girl!

The surprise baby girl - Faith :)

We love alpaca!

Good-bye flowers

Sandra asked to use the camera to take some pictures of our flowers.  She said they are the last flowers before winter.  I think she was right since we did get some snow Sunday night and freezing temperatures.  
Today I was editing through the recent photos and decided I should add her beautiful flowers.
These were my favorite :)

I love the perspective she did with this one!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

1st Deacon's Quorum Campout!

Talmage and Jeff went on Talmage's first campout as a Deacon!  It was up in Oklahoma and they even got to shoot!  Jeff even got to use his new truck tent!  We figure with the older boys going on campouts for the next several years it was a good investment :).  Talmage had a great time!  He even wrote about the campout to help for a requirement for one of his Merit Badges.  Here are his words:

On the Deacon Teacher campout on November 8-9, only 2 scouts attended, and one of them was me.                                 
When we first arrived at the pecan ranch we set up our tents and started a fire. The leaders had brought food, including smores. I ate a bunch of them.  After a reasonable amount of firewood had been collected, the 2 scouts and a couple of leaders, including me went boar hunting. When we had first got there, we had seen a boar and deer, so we were excited.

We were surprised by many skunks. I counted 11! Thankfully, none of us were sprayed, but we did shoot at a raccoon and blew a possums leg off. Brendon stabbed it to death afterwards. We all went to sleep at 2:00 a.m., and woke up at 6:30 the next morning.

After I made breakfast we went to a clearing and shot guns at clay pigeons, softballs, and targets. I managed to hit one of the clay pigeons with a .20. I also shot a .45 caliber and a .22. It was awesome!
We had a lunch of sandwiches and marshmallow pies. It was one of the best campouts I have ever had.    

Talmage shooting:
The new truck tent!


Talmage was so exhausted... with so little sleep that night, that he took a nap on the way home :)
It's crazy that he is going on big campouts such!  

Saturday, November 1, 2014

4-H Fashion!

This year Sandra and Talmage participated with our 4-H club in the Fashion Show.  Last year Sandra was too young to do the competition and the boys weren't that interested.  It was fun to plan things to do with Sandra and get excited about her learning to sew.  The problem was that they put the fashion competition too close to the 4-H Food Show (competition).  My older kids love doing the food show, so we have been pretty busy getting all of the meetings done for food and for fashion. 
Well, with everything that had to happen in October we managed to get everything ready for the kids Fashion Show. 

Here is what they did. 
Sandra wanted to do a refashion.  That sounded fun to me (I really enjoy refashion!).  We went to a thrift store and she found this women's black velvet blouse.  It even had a fur collar.  Sandra was in love ;).  I helped out finding the next piece.  This was a women's dress with spaghetti straps and such.  It was a very grown up look, but the skirt was full of pleats and the fabric was great!  We figured it would be a great pairing!  The extra lace and such on the top would also help make some great accessories.
This is her before picture:
The finished product!  She learned how to seam rip, use the sewing machine, sew a button hole, sew on a button, make a flower and even the bracelet!  She really was so happy with how it turned out!
Back view
Talmage decided that he would participate in buying.  Buying seems easier, since there's no sewing, but there is still work to get this done too!  We had to comparison shop to find the best deal.  We also chose the category for $25 and under so then we had the pressure to get the whole outfit for pretty cheap!  Once we had the outfit we still had to be sure we had shopped around.  Then we have to know the fabric content, care instructions, the construction of the garments and how to know if it 's high quality (all of this is what any of the fashion participants have to know). 

Talmage did great!  He picked a great outfit.  We talked a lot about how to coordinate clothes and what accessories to add, etc.  I feel like he would do even better the next time he helps buy clothes. 

Here is his outfit.
During all of the fashion preparation the kids had to participate in a leadership opportunity.  They both gave speeches at our 4-H club.  Talmage's speech was on fabric and care of different fabrics. 
Sandra's speech was on how to separate clothes and use the washing machine. 
They did great :)
Here are the kids at the fashion show.  They had to present themselves to the judges who then had four minutes to ask questions of the participant. 
Our group of fashion kids!
Sandra and Talmage both won in their division so we get to go on the District Fashion Show in November. 

I think we will have more preparation going to district, but it will be a great experience for them!  Yay for 4-H!