Monday, October 31, 2016

Ode to Strawberry

For Bruce, these hunting trips are one of the highlights of his year.  He plans for months ahead of time.  This year Bruce, Joseph and Peter went elk hunting.  They did find a 5x5 bull, and we are grateful to this elk for giving us meat for the coming year.  The cost of this meat is huge, but we are grateful for it nonetheless.  :)  What it cost in time, money, supplies, energy, the hearts of loved ones at home, and the life of one of our horses - well, when it all adds up, the 113 lbs of meat we got came at a very steep price.  Now, it is totally, 100% organic, grass-fed, free-range, low-fat meat.  There is THAT.  And it tastes really good - we had it last night in the tacos we had for dinner.  But man, why these boys think this is fun to go up, slog through 2 feet of snow and deadfall, up and down crazy, steep terrain, and just about DIE every year is beyond me.  I am grateful for the meat, and grateful they know how to hunt.  Maybe they could just remember how to hunt every five years or so. Hahaha.  But no, I make this argument every year, and it is kindly refused with gentle smiles and knowing eyes - the knowing being that they will be going again next year.

Now, the life of one of our horses...  this is hard to talk and write about.  This is Strawberry.
My niece Kaylee took a bunch of pictures of Bruce riding Strawberry at our Family Reunion at Daley Creek in 2013.








We bought her in 2008.  She was a registered Blazer horse - Strawberry Dacqeuri.  In April of 2009, she had a colt, whom we named Stormy, because he was born in the middle of big thunderstorm.





video

For the past 8 years that we've had her, she was the horse that Bruce chose to ride most of the time. She was a strong horse, but temperamental sometimes.  One of her weaknesses was that she did not lead well,  On the night of the accident, she was being ponied by Cookie, and she crept up on the side of the trail, not wanting to just sit behind.  This was often what she was wont to do.  But this time, it was snowy and slick, there was shale, and a steep mountainside, and she slipped and the two of them, Cookie and Strawberry went down, head over heels down the mountain at least 200 yards.  Peter and Bruce scrambled down the mountain to find them, sure that they would not survive the fall.  When they got to the bottom, they heard Cookie neigh, and walked over in that direction (it was pitch dark).  They expected to find her down, with broken bones.  Instead, in what can be described as nothing short of a miracle, they found her standing on all four legs, with only a few scratches.  They could not find Strawberry.  When they returned the next day in the light, they found her, already dead.  She had a bad blow to the head, so our hope was that she died on impact without having to suffer through the night.  She was so lacerated and beat up, that it became even more apparent what an impossibility it was that Cookie came out of it unharmed.  In fact, Cookie packed out a load less than 36 hours later.

So, sometimes hard things happen, and as much as you'd like to have changed things, hindsight is always 20/20.  Lessons were learned from this.  And thankfully, we know Strawberry has gone on to a better place!  To be with Lady.  Now Joseph and Peter have both lost their horse.

Stormy, the little colt picture above, proved himself one tough horse, packing out the elk meat all by himself in two trips.  He is a studly horse!

I would add pictures of the hunting trip, but I don't have them available yet to upload.  Next week...



Monday, October 17, 2016

Choral Invitational

Peter and Libby had dress up days at school all week long.  Friday was "Pink Day".
 This stately matriarch (NOT) had pink on too!
Libby and Regan

On Friday at noon I took off with Peter and 33 other Madrigals on a Choir trip to sing at a Choral Invitational at a college in Idaho.  There were 11 choirs invited, and 3 of them got picked to sing their own prepared number in the evening concert.  Our choir was one of the ones chosen!
 Here is a little clip of the song that they sang on Saturday night, "Ain'a that Good News".
The clinician, Dr. Rollo Dilworth, from Templeton University in Philadelphia, was fabulous!
Our director picked out this piece, "Ain'a that Good News", which is arranged by none other than Dr. Dilworth, before he knew he would be the clinician at the festival.  That was an unexpected piece of fun!
 Fun times at the pool.  Peter is in the back just left of center.
 I got to know Riley better on this trip.  Her boyfriend Christian is the son of a lady I visit teach in our ward, so I had heard a lot about her but never met her.  It was fun to get to know all the other kids too.  I feel so sad that I didn't get a picture with Tracie, my dear friend and fellow mom that chaperoned.  We laughed and laughed the whole time, having a great time together!
 Here's Peter - sporting his Madrigals Tux!
 Picture here are 34 out of the 36 Madrigals in the choir.
The concert was wonderful!  The combined choir sang four pieces together.  After the concert, one fellow conductor told our conductor that ours was the best high school choir that he had ever heard.  Wow!  High praise from a fellow conductor, one whose choir was also chosen to sing their own number.  It was an amazing compliment, but in my opinion, well-deserved.

And guess who came down to the concert on Saturday night?!  Our own Mrs. Bunn!
 I loved sitting by Mary at the Concert.  She is so knowledgeable about choral music, having learned so much this past year at BYU-I.  A lot of the kids knew her and were glad to see her.  It warmed my heart to be with her and talk to her, even for an hour.
After the concert, we left at about 10 pm and rode home.  Here's Peter sacked out on the school bus!

On Friday night, Mary and Kevin got to go and hear Presidential Candidate Evan McMullin!  And they got this picture with him afterwards.  Mary had high praise for him.  She said he is not an actor, not artificially pumping up the crowd, etc.  She said he is real, that he talked about policy with intelligence.  She said his overall energy was so positive.  I really trust Mary on things like this.  I have been a McMullin supporter from Day one, from everything I could gather on the internet, but to have Mary see him live, shake his hand and look him in the eye, it is very gratifying to hear her good report from face to face.  Go McMullin!

Josh and Mary also went to see him the next day, and Josh was impressed also.  Good news!



Monday, October 10, 2016

Cider Festival

Joseph is in Virginia still, and he went to the Washington DC Temple on Wednesday.  He got this picture from the freeway as you round the bend.  I've heard of this for a long time - and now I got a picture of it from Joseph!  So cool!

Peter and Libby have a fascination with this wheelchair that we have.  They wheel themselves around in it all the time.  This cracks me up:
Peter and Libby (and Josh now too, I noticed over the weekend), can sit back and balance on the wheels without falling either forwards or backwards.  I don't think I would try that...

On Tuesday, Peter's JV Soccer team played one of our arch-rivals.  The score was 0-0 up until 30 seconds left in the game.  A fellow player took a shot, and the goalie went and fell on the ball. When he did, it squirreled out from beneath him to the side, and one of our players scooted it over to another player, who kicked over to Peter, who then slotted it into the goal!  End score 1-0!  Wahoo!  We could hardly believe it!  That just doesn't happen that often in soccer.

We went straight from that game to Libby's concert which was at the end of a full day of training on Barbershop and a Capella singing.  It was a fun concert, and afterwards, we got to go over and visit Becca!  She works at a local soup and sandwich shop.
 Libby and Elli, best of buddies.
 Libby showing off her t-shirt, with a good-size dose of 14 year old attitude.  :)
What a fun day!  I told Joseph this week that my days flow from one blessing to another.  I am in a state of constant wonder and gratitude about this.  I see the hand of God in my life, and his yoke is easy, and his burden is light.

On Friday, Felicia and her son Bryce came over to help us make doughnut dough.  And later Laurel and Tyson and their six children came over to help too.  Peter helped for awhile before he took off to be with friends.  Libby spent the evening with her Anima-Mea choir group watching a Walk to Remember, as they are singing a song from that movie - Only Hope - as part of their repertoire.  We made 15 batches of dough!  And we didn't even get to all of those.

Mary and Kevin stopped in during the evening, and it was so fun to see them!  I love it when my children come home!

Saturday morning, Libby left early for her District game in a town 1 1/2 hours away.  They were the 4th seed and had to play the top seed.  They lost the game but played hard.  Libby didn't get in to play, unfortunately.  :(  She was sad on Friday that it was her last practice, so she enjoyed the season even though she didn't get that much playing time.  The overall picture is great, though, considering that she has only been back playing soccer for a year (since U-8).  She went a LONG way in a year, and will only continue to improve.  Way to go Libster!!

Peter's team also made it into the District Tournament (they take the top 4 teams).  They played the same team that they played on Tuesday.  This time, Peter scored in the FIRST 30 seconds of the game!  He got a good cross from a teammate and then headed it in!  The goalie had his hands on the ball, but then it slipped through and dribbled into the goal.  Bruce and I had barely walked into the game.  Bruce saw the situation and called out, "Head it!", which Peter was already doing.  Like father, like son!  The other team went on to score two goals, so the final score was 1-2.  That was a bummer, because the boys played hard, but they left it all out on the field.  Peter had a much improved season this year and really contributed to his team.  Way to go Peter!

After all this we ran home and put on the finishing touches for the Cider Festival!  We had perfect weather - 70-75 degrees, and a lot of people came out.  Mary helped me a ton with the doughnuts, I fryed them and she rolled them in the cinnamon sugar and put them on the trays.  Dad kept the Cider Press going and Peter drove the tractor for the hay rides.  Josh came about half hour into it.  Yeah!!  He brought three roommates - Jared, Jason and Andrew Hatch (who is now dating cousin Kaylee!), and also an FHE sister Clinisha.  They were so fun to have here!  And Nic and Becca came too.  So many fun people!  I realized this morning that I didn't have a single picture.  I put out a call for some, so I'll add any in if I get some.

That evening after the Cider Festival, the hay had been cut and baled at the farm in Kuna and Bruce went out with Peter to bring it in.  Peter drove and Bruce by himself bucked two whole loads of hay.  As Joseph put it, "You've still got it, Dad!"  Indeed he does.  I just wished he hadn't of had to do that by himself, but the planning of it is impossible to do ahead of time.

The next morning we all piled on our bed and sang him Las Mañanitas for his birthday!  We had T-bone steak, mashed potatoes and steak for his birthday dinner.  Good stuff!  I gave him a Foot Zone in the evening as we sat and talked with Gérard, who had brought over some zucchini bread from Michelle.  Happy Birthday to Bruce!


Monday, October 3, 2016

Homecoming 2016 and General Conference


Peter went on his first date this week!  He went with Halli to their high school Homecoming Dance.

The group: Peter & Halli, Riley & Rilee, Tyler & Maddy, and Ethan and Lindsay.
Look at Peter - hahaha!
We set up the wall tent for their dinner in the back yard.  It created an atmosphere of rustic elegance.  They really enjoyed it!  The other three moms cooked the meal, and we added in our specialty - fresh apple cider.  Bruce and Libby were awesome to help set up and serve.

General Conference was wonderful!  This is Libby and two of her many pages of notes that she took during the Conference. 
I want to include the last two verses of the Hymn "Come, Ye Thankful People, Come", which was sung by the Tabernacle Choir as the last song of the Sunday Morning Session.  These verses are not included in our present Hymnal.

3 For the Lord our God shall come,
and shall take the harvest home; 
from the field shall in that day 
all offenses purge away, 
giving angels charge at last 
in the fire the tares to cast; 
but the fruitful ears to store 
in the garner evermore.

4 Even so, Lord, quickly come,
bring thy final harvest home; 
gather thou thy people in, 
free from sorrow, free from sin, 
there, forever purified, 
in thy presence to abide; 
come, with all thine angels, come, 
raise the glorious harvest home.

United Methodist Hymnal, 1989

This is especially significant considering that the Jubilee year has ended, and that the Jewish people are now celebrating Rosh Hashanah, which is the Jewish New Year, but also symbolic of the final harvest.

We enjoyed more soccer games this week!  On Thursday, we sat by our friends Von and Felicia - we have gotten to know them a lot better this past year and enjoy their friendship!
Here's Peter out on the field.  I told him to turn around and smile, and this is the most I got!
That night was Senior night, and the Varsity played the team that is at the top of the league.  It was a very close, intense game - well-played on both sides.  I haven't been that "in to" a sports event in a long time.  I was on my feet and yelling and cheering with the rest of them.  It was a great game!

We are looking forward to our Cider Festival this Saturday.  Wahoo!!