Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's That Time of Year Again

I'm pretty sure Shawn has literally been counting down the days to the start of cyclocross season.  Lucky for him, it's here.  Saturday was the first race of the season and it was at Snowbird.  The fall leaves made the viewing spectacular!  Shawn doesn't get to race as a rookie this year, so he raced in the  "C" class.  Kind of nice, because now his races will be in the mornings instead of in the middle of the afternoon.
Everyone lining up at the start.

Once again, it's a little strange for me to see the ski resort and lifts with no snow.  It's hard to believe it will all be covered soon.

Hopping back on after lifting his bike over the barrier.

Carrying bikes up the hill...
I wish I had gotten more pictures of the beautiful fall scenery, but my camera was already telling me it was almost out of battery so I didn't dare to take too many extra pictures.
He finished and felt pretty good.  No flat tires, no falls, no crashes.  A success.  I'm sure next week will be even better when they aren't at 9,000 feet.  I still think he's a little crazy, but it is fun to watch.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Welcome to Tinsel Town

Or at least the world of tinsel teeth. Last week, Samantha went from this:
to this:

And Jonas went from this:

to this:
So far, there has been a lot of moaning and complaining and declarations that they don't care about having straight teeth.  I'm just hoping that one day they'll appreciate it, because all of this tinsel sure doesn't come cheap!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Let's Just Remember That Fall Has Barely Started, OK?

 I cling to summer with everything I have.  I hope for warm days well into the fall.  I wish for the longer days to last just a little bit longer.  I hope and hope that winter is along ways off.  But, certain other people in my house do not share my sentiments.  At all.  At the very first signs of cooler nights and earlier sunsets, at the very first hint of fall leaves, something shifts for them.  All of a sudden summer is forgotten and it is time to think about skiing.  Now I enjoy skiing.  I really do.  But I could do with a lot more summer in my life and maybe a couple months of good winter skiing.  Then, I'm ready to be warm again.  But those other people in my life feel a little differently about it.  Shawn is practically giddy as the ski gear magazines start showing up and is ready to sign up for ski passes at practically the very first possibility to do so.  And then yesterday, Samantha asked if she could make cupcakes.  When I finally relented under conditions of full clean up, she declared that they were going to be ski cupcakes.  Really?!  We're only 2 days into fall here! Can't we just enjoy it?  This is what I'm up against, people.  

After frosting all of her cupcakes, she covered them with a healthy dose of powdered sugar (snow) and dug through Jonas' legos to find some skiers, skis and snowboards. 
 See those happy faces on the lego guys?  That's the same look Shawn and Samantha get when they start thinking about skiing.
 I don't know that Amelia particularly cared about the skiers, but she was happy to have something involving frosting and powdered sugar.  (A double dose.)

 Oh, those happy little skiers and snowboarders make me wish for surfing cupcakes instead.  Now those, I could get behind.  Hot outside temperatures made bearable by being pulled behind a boat on a surfboard.  Really, it doesn't get any better than that in my mind.

 But instead I'm stuck with these little reminders of the cold and snow that is just around the corner.

 Like I said, they are serious about this whole ski season thing.  At least I can still see the green grass and leaves on the trees out back.  It's not over yet, and I plan to enjoy every last minute of it!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Another Friday, Another HIke

Just wanted to squeeze in one more outdoor event for the last day of summer.  This week it was Bell's Canyon and I went with some neighborhood ladies and left Peter behind.  It was absolutely beautiful.
Unfortunately, my phone didn't manage to capture the vibrancy of the colors, but you can get an idea.
The water falls - not as big and rushing as in other years, but still fun to see.

This was one of those times that reminded me how lucky I am to live in Utah, and to have such beauty so close and accessible.  (Well, OK, the climb at the end was a little strenuous, so not totally accessible to everyone, but not bad either.)

The 3 of us who made it to the falls.

It was a beautiful hike and a fun way to spend the day.  And now, sadly, it is time for fall.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Etiquette Night

This week's activity for the young men and young women of our ward was an etiquette night with specific instructions on how to date, since a lot of the kids can't seem to move beyond hanging out.  (And more on how to act around the other gender for the younger kids who aren't old enough to date.)

It started with everyone gathering at our house for hors d'oeuvres and mingling.  Then the kids all divided up by age and went to different houses for dinner and instruction.  Shawn really threw them for a loop by telling them to wear business casual - no jeans, no t- shirts, no ties, no shorts.  For the most part they all finally found something suitable to wear, but it seemed like it was going to be a big challenge for most of them.  I thought they looked pretty nice.

The oldest kids (16 and 17 year olds) went next door to this lovely setting.  They got to hear from a newly married couple and from a newly engaged couple.  (The newly engaged couple are both in their 80's.)

The 12 and 13 year olds were 2 houses up from us, in this yard.  They also heard from a newly engaged couple and from an older lady in the ward.  (She fits the bill for my storybook Grandma.)
And finally, the 14 and 15 year olds were across the street at this house, where they also heard from a newly engaged couple and the couple whose house it was who have lived there for 50 years.

Hopefully they all picked up some good information on proper dating etiquette and how to treat each other.
And since apparently, you can only have so much etiquette for one night, the whole party moved to the Young Women's President's house for rain gutter sundaes.  (I found the whole concept disgusting, but then again, I'm not a teenager.)
Everyone just dug right in!

It was at this point, that I knew for sure all rules of etiquette were gone, when one of the girls just had someone dump the rest of the sundae out of the trough and into her mouth.  Um, yum?
You know the coolest part about this whole thing?  I'll tell you.  Shawn was in charge of feeding everyone.  I asked a few times if there was anything I could do to help and he just said not really.  Wednesday morning I came home to a kitchen full of pots, pans and industrial size food warmers borrowed from the church.  He showed up at home Wednesday afternoon with a load from Costco.  The kids and I helped carry it in.  Then while I helped with homework and ran kids to lessons and back, Shawn cooked for 80 people.  (His second counselor did show up to help him.)  Seriously, I was no help at all.  I didn't buy anything, I didn't cook anything, I didn't serve anything.
After it was over, someone said to me, "The food was really good.  Did you make it?"  And I said, "Nope.  Shawn did it all."  As we were walking away, he said, "If I say the Young Men are going to do the food, I mean the Young Men are going to do the food."  It was pretty funny.

Just so you know I wasn't totally useless, I did wash all the pots and pans while they were at dinner.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Crazy Hair Day

Maybe I wouldn't have minded crazy hair day so much if it hadn't come just 2 days after picture day.  Only 3 days into the week, and I felt like far too much time was spent getting everyone's hair just right. 

Peter never wants to be left out, so he was trying out some crazy hair, too.

Duff started out with this 'do,
but ended up with this as a final product before walking out the door.
Amelia's initial hairstyle:

(They look like they walked right out of Dr. Seuss's Whoville to me.)

Samantha was extremely upset when she realized that they had a dentist appointment on crazy hair day, because there was no way she was going to the dentist with crazy hair!  So she came up with the solution of wearing a wig that she could take off at the dentist.

Amelia decided to add the kitty ears just before walking out the door.
The whole crew with their crazy hair.  Phew, I'm glad we're finished with that one!