Saturday, October 27, 2012

Win the Day!!!

Yes, we are talking about Oregon football...

Oregon football....the team that has dominated every opponent we've faced, but still can't get the respect of the SEC-favored BCS.   Ranked currently at #4, our road to the National Championship requires not only our best effort in every game we have yet to play, but some losses by those teams not only above us, but even a couple below that could end up leap-frogging.

The first order of business, therefore, was to take care of the Colorado Buffaloes.  It's a "rebuilding year" for Colorado, so you just end up saying, "Oh poor Colorado" when you recognize they are facing the Ducks the week after we were disrespected so bad by the computers of the BCS.  Sure enough, by halftime, we were up 56-0.  (It should have been 63-0 courtesy of a huge TD run by Kenjon, but a holding call took it away....)  After the half, our 2nd and 3rd string played the remainder of the game, with a final score of 70-14.

I attended the game with these three guys - John, Travis, and Brian (Travis' sister's husband).

We ended up leaving early, soon after the second half began - as it was starting to rain harder and we knew this guy was done for the day.

That guy....the local celebrity....currently ranked 3rd in the ESPN Heisman trophy watch list....with an average yards per carry of over 6 yds....  Kenjon Barner.  The same guy we tease, pray with, and our kids use as a jungle gym.  The guy that met with John to study the Bible on Tuesday, cheered Brayden on at his game on Wednesday, and carved pumpkins with us on Thursday.

To say I'm proud of this guy is an understatement.  But, it has more to do with his character off the field than his performance on the field.  Though, that makes us so proud too - but, in a giddy, "look at that guy play his game" sort of way.   This week, we discussed putting together some signal that he could give us that would indicate he sees us when he runs out on the field, as it's never been something we've nailed down.  He suggested touching the top of his helmet or something else conventional like that, but then Brayden dared him to do the "Discount Double Check" motion made popular by insurance commercials lately.  Sure enough, he found us, did that motion three times (much to the insane laughter and disbelief on all of our parts) before running back to his team.  Then, after his first touchdown he looked to our section and did it again.  What a hoot!  All because of a dare by Brayden, but priceless in realizing that we mean as much to him as he does to us.

Okay, enough Kenjon-gushing.

Upon coming home, we tucked ourselves in for a long afternoon and evening of football viewing.  That's part two of that whole equation - for other teams to lose.  And, oh, how teams have been going down - but not necessarily the ones we need to.  Down went Florida (#2), down went USC (our opponent next week), down went ASU.  Crazy stuff going on.  The team we REALLY need to go down, though, is Notre Dame - that team that intends to leapfrog us in their pursuit of the #2 BCS slot.  GO OKLAHOMA!   So, with split screen on the tv, and Pac 12 Network feeding through the computer, we are living in a sports bar (minus the alcohol!) right now.

And, we couldn't be happier...(especially if the Sooners win....)

Just to Start Your Saturday Off Right...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Third Annual Pumpkin Carving Party

It all began because one college guy (Aaron) heard that we were going to carve pumpkins with our kids and asked if he could come over and join us.  Because of the success of that evening, and realizing we were much more inclined to encourage our kids to carve pumpkins if a party was planned around that activity, we decided to open the doors to all of our college/young adult friends to carve away and eat chili with us.  

This is the third year of such a party, and by far the largest attendance - there were over 40 people that walked through our doors through the course of the evening.  I started out quadrupling the chili recipe, then decided to 5x the recipe - and by the end of the evening, threw in the last of my stockpiled ingredients to 6x the batch.  

Here's the spread - it's fun to have a purpose to my Pinterest perusing, and much of the recipe ideas end up as inspiration for food to serve on this evening.  My entire day on Thursday - from 8am-6pm was spent in the kitchen (with the exception of the two emergency runs to Walmart for more ingredients).   It was a crazy day, but a fun one - I love preparing for these sorts of things, as long as I can stay just ahead of schedule....

Fortunately, Drew and Kaela showed up about an hour before the festivities were set to begin and were able to tackle the last of the "to-do" lists for John and I.  Many thanks!  And, thanks as well to Kaela who REQUESTED to take pictures on our behalf all evening.  She did such a fantastic job, recording in photos one of my favorite nights of the year.


I love this picture of Steph and Whitley - Steph is glowing even more with her baby on the outside!

Heather and Mikayla entertained the early-comers (technically, on time...most folks are fashionably late) with a little bit of twirling and spinning.

All that's missing is Bogey....

Katy (on the left) really struggles with being shy... (not at all) - in fact, she's rarely content to just smile for a pic taken in her direction....

I was so thrilled when folks from the Camp Harlow community showed up.  Leah and Kimmie are both part of Thursday Night Ladies - behind Leah is Zach (Brayden and Traig's favorite dude out there) and behind Kimmie is Jake who worked in media at Harlow.

A couple of girls new to Trinity this year - J.J. on the left Ashley next to me.  Ashley will soon be helping us coach volleyball with Mikayla's team.

And, soon, floor space was getting hard to find...

Love these ladies...

Kenjon showed up - after adoring Whitley, Heather put him to work helping to carve her owl pumpkin.

Finally, I found a spot and started felt good to sit down!

I'm not sure what was so funny, but Kaela snapped four pictures in a series of these five cracking up....obviously it was amusing.

There were lots of couples in attendance - married (like Joe and Kaitlin & Alecia and Michael), about to be married (Emilie and Michael), "Facebook Official" couples (more than I can list), and those that have yet to "DTR", but are on the verge.  It was fun...

Last year, Elaina worked with Mikayla on her pumpkin, so Mikayla was planning for it to happen again.  She was ecstatic that Elaina could make it, and had set aside their "Pluto" template well ahead of time for them to do together.

Oops, that's not supposed to happen!

My final carving project....not as excited about it as I was last year's carving, but it will do.


Didn't "Pluto" turn out great?!!!

I love this picture...

Zach eventually came to the rescue for Brayden's pumpkin - Brayden was a little overly ambitious with his "Heisman Trophy" idea.  In classic Brayden form, he handed the project over and was playing with his caramel apple in a cup...

I don't think I've introduced Julianne yet, she's someone I've been able to meet with (loosely defining the word "mentor").  We've taken a couple of walks, but I kept forgetting to take a pic of the two of us together.

Cyrus showed up towards the end - already training hard for his next javelin throwing event - and Lord Willing, the Rio Olympics in 2016.... =)

Many folks left their pumpkins on our doorstep...we practically have a pumpkin patch going on out front.

We so enjoy these sorts of events - from prep to clean-up and all that lies in between - these nights are so worth it for us!