Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Medieval Murder

So the 5th annual murder mystery went pretty well. There were a few last-minute mishaps that I did not anticipate that kind of made me crazy for a bit, but we survived them and it went off great.

I transformed my parents' dining room into a "Royal Feasting Hall" since my original plan to have it at the King Arthur storage unit place didn't work out. (They have this really sweet conference room all decked out in medeival stuff that they were going to let me use. Until the day before.) So I had to scramble to find a new castle. Which, if you are ever wondering, there are about 3 castle-like structures in Salt Lake and Utah counties--all of which were booked for the night of my party.

So I had to make do with the dining room. But I did make some royal draperies and rope, a magic mirror, lots of candlesticks, some family crests, and a castle wall. I even found a giant sword in my brother's room that was perfect for a decoration.

The guests: Sir Prancealot, Bishop Sven, Maid Intaiwan, Lord MacIntosh, Sir William Writinghame, Lady Guinivere, Queen Adelaide of Camelot, the Pied Piper, Countess Catherine of Wykeham, Isabel the peasant girl, and Mystic Margarita.
They all did such a great job! I loved their costumes!

Here is my Queen costume and royal draperies. I wore a tutu underneath the dress to help it boof out more. It was quite itchy. I got my dress at the Hale Center Theater costume sale. It was a whopping $15! I was so excited! That is also where I got the tapestry fabric and royal rope.

Matt was the Pied Piper. We borrowed a kilt from my uncle and he made a Pi (you know...3.14) on his T-shirt and carried a pipe. It was great!

Sarah Ann was Mystic Margarita. She brought a snow globe as a crystal ball. It was hilarious! And this is the castle wall I constructed (ok, well Matt and Allen mostly constructed it) that we hung at the entrance to the Royal Feasting Hall.

Raymon was Sir Prancealot. His sheild even had his own family crest on it. Cool!

Tyler was Lord MacIntosh and Almarie was Isabel the peasant girl. Tyler even brought a real sword.

Caron was Countess Catherine of Wykeham. She made her own dress. How cool is that? And she provided the medieval soundtrack for the party.

Anne was Maid Intaiwan. Here she is looking into the magic mirror with her serving pitcher. Everyone kept making her get them drinks all night long.

Allen was Bishop Sven. He shaved his head like an old, bald monk for the party!! It was fabulous. He was the murderer's accomplice. He also drew the family crests displayed behind him. We got the family crests of everyone present at the party to put on those shields.

Garrett was Sir William Writingham. He wore tights! I was shocked! He also carried around a quill and a bottle of ink so he could write down everything that was said for inspiration. Hayley was Lady Guinivere. And she was the killer.

Here we are enjoying our royal feast and divulging clues. I sort of ran out of time this year, so I didn't have a chance to develop some of the characters as fully as I would have liked. And I didn't have time to write good alibis for everyone for the last round. Oh well. It was still ok.

I love doing this party every year though...it's so much fun! Let the tradition continue!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Just shoot me now

I am NEVER having kids!!!! Yesterday was our Primary Program in church and my class was HORRIBLE!!!! I seriously wanted to strangle some little 5-year-old necks. I had two kids who pushed each other down every time they got up to sing because they were fighting over who got to sit in the end chair. I had another little girl wandering around the stand the whole time, sneaking notes in on the piano. Some others were standing on their chairs and hiding under the clerk's table. Two girls kept taking their shoes off. One girl wouldn't even sit with us and cried when I tried to get her to come sit by our class. Two of the kids were pinching each other and kicking each other. Most of them would not sing when it was their turn...they just jumped around and twirled around and pushed each other out of the way. Oh yeah, and one kid flipped off another kid. They totally did not deserve the pumpkin cookies that one of the presidency members brought them to reward them for doing a good job in the program.

Seriously, have their parents never heard of the word DISCIPLINE? Do they not care that their children are little hellions?

It took all I had to sit up there on the stand with them and not cry during the program. But I had to beeline it out of the church the second it was over before I lost it right there. Then, when I got home from church I had to spend some quality time with my punching bag.

I really am trying hard to have a good attitude about this calling, but I HATE IT! And I hate going to church because of it. I really miss that spiritual uplift that church used to bring me, but now it's just sheer stress. I know it is my own fault if I am not getting spiritual upliftment from church, but I don't know what else to try. Does anyone have any suggestions??? Please help me to not hate going to church!!

P.S. I taught Relief Society for a year before I got married. And Sunday School before that. And I loved it so much. I also love speaking in church, and I teach college kids every day at work. What is my problem with 5-year-olds?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My very own road bike

I am the proud new owner of this new road bike!!! I am so excited. It is pink and black and so cute and it rides like a charm. Too bad I won't really be able to use it much for the next 6 months. But come triathlon season next year I will seriously be kicking some trash. And maybe I will even beat my dad and win the $100 he promised to any of us kids who could beat him! Yay for new bikes!

'Bout that time again

It's almost time for my annual murder mystery party! I am so excited. I do this every year and every year it is so fun. This is Year #5 of the tradition (well, besides the two I did in college). This year's theme is A Medieval Murder and we are having it in a castle. It's gonna be great!

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to post a picture from all the past parties. Each year is a different theme and a different venue.

The College Years
Themes: Chinese and Hawaiian Luau
Venues: My apartment

Year #1: 2003
Theme: The Singles Ward
Venue: My parents' house

Year #2: 2005 (We skipped 2004 since I was on my mission then.)
Theme: High School Reunion
Location: Bingham High School

Year #3: 2006
Theme: Death of a Pirate
Venue: The Spanish Fork Tavern (aka...my aunt's basement)

Year #4: 2007
Theme: The Great Chicago Caper, 1920s style
Venue: The SoJo Speakeasy (aka...my parents' basement)

Year #5: 2008
Theme: A Medieval Murder
Venue: King Arthur's Castle
(photos coming soon! The party is on Saturday! Woo-hoo!)

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Homecoming/Wedding

This past weekend was a crazy busy one. Nathan came home from his mission in Louisiana on Thursday.
It is so great to have him home. We have missed him a lot. He gave his homecoming talk in church on Sunday and it was so wonderful to hear about his mission and all the people he was able to touch.

Laurie could barely walk so she insisted on making us go get her a wheelchair at the airport.

Nathan's flight was 4 hours late. Normally that would be fine, but Scott decided to plan his wedding on the same day. Nathan was supposed to get in at 12:45 but he didn't get there til 4:45. So we rushed from the airport to the tux shop so Nathan could get fitted for his tux and then off to the church in Bountiful for the wedding ceremony at 7.

So we made it to the church on time, went to the wedding ceremony and then listened to the pathetic BYU game on the way home. It was such a horrible, depressing game. Then on Friday we spent most of the day taking pictures and getting ready for the reception, which was that night at the Gallivan Center.

Their colors were brown, green, and orange. I thought that would turn out terrible, but it actually looked nice. Good thing Caron let me go shopping in her closet for something to wear because I did not have anything in any of those colors.

Matt was just excited that the Colorado State football team was staying in the hotel next door to the Gallivan Center. (Colorado State was playing Utah the next day.) He even went and spied on their team meeting.
We had to go to Temple Square on Friday to take pictures. (I'm not sure why they wanted to take pictures there when they didn't get married there??? Strange.) But it was kinda funny that Nathan just wanted to talk to the missionaries. And go to the Church Office Building.

And here is our usual dork picture. (OK, one of the many!)

At the reception they had a cardboard cutout of a bride and groom and made everyone take their picture in it. They also made everyone wear nametags that said their name and their relationship to the bride and groom on it.

We wrote funny things like "groom's favorite sister" and "the one they don't talk about" and "Scott's first wife". They had people put their nametags on a big posterboard so it was kind of like the signing book.

Matt was very excited for an excuse to wear his orange tie.

I am so lucky to have such a supportive husband. I had a very hard week and he was there for me the whole time.

Scott decided to cater his own wedding. I think he is nuts. He is a very good cook, but I still think it's nuts to cater your own wedding. It was a lot of work, but the food was delicious! He made two kinds of hummus with pita chips, turkey bacon wraps with a cranberry orange sauce, artichoke dip, these really yummy skewer things that were kinda like brushetta, fruit, and mint brownies.

If anyone wants to try any of it, we have a TON left.

We did our usual silly dancing. And I played with the babies. :)

They cut the cake and had surprise toasts. And they used my sparkler idea. I really wanted to have sparklers at my wedding for people to wave around while we ran out from the reception center to the carriage. But my reception center wouldn't let me do that. So they did it at theirs instead. It made me a little sad that we couldn't do it at ours because I knew it would be really cool. And it was. But at least we had bagpipes at ours. That was beyond cool.

By the end of the night, we were exhausted! That is why I am a big fan of hiring people to serve and clean up and stuff. We were all so tired!

Then on Saturday, Matt made us omelets for breakfast, and then we went to the Utah football game and to the bike shop and the Pie. It was a fun day. And we found me a road bike! I am so excited! I will probably be getting it this week!

Now I just need to wrap up the details for my murder mystery party on Saturday! I am so excited for it. I think I have found the perfect venue. And the perfect costume.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

He's coming home!

Here we are two years ago at the MTC. My little brother comes home from his mission tommorrow!!! I am so excited. He is so much fun and I have really missed him. I missed him calling me at 12:30 a.m. for help with his Spanish homework. I missed him riding his bike to my apartment. I missed seeing what he would dress up like for Halloween. Like this year he dressed up as a haystack...it was great!

I miss hearing about his crazy adventures like when he climbed Lone Peak in lederhosen and got on the news for waving around a giant flashlight. I miss doing crazy things with him like when we went swimming in the freezing rain in Uruguay and got spied on by the homeless man.

I miss seeing him getting into different cultural experiences like when he wanted to wash his clothes by hand at Adriana's house in Argentina. Or seeing him carry around his mate everywhere and wanting everyone he meets to taste it.

I have just missed him. He is one of the most easy-going, nice people I know. He has been a wonderful missionary and I know he has touched lots of lives there in Louisiana. But I'm happy he is coming home tomorrow.

A lot has changed in the past two years. Some of us look quite different than we did two years ago, and there have been some additions to the family.
He'll be coming home to three new siblings-in-law. And not to mention he is coming home just to go straight to Scott's wedding a few hours after he gets off the plane. (Don't ask.) Kyle has gotten about a foot taller. I have lost 30 pounds. Scott has gained 30 pounds. The dog has gained 30 pounds. Dad has gotten obsessed with triathlons. Allison is a senior in high school. Kyle is a sophomore.

Anyway, I'm just excited to have him back. And I'm glad I have this to look forward to in this week of crazy stressfulness and drama. Welcome home Nathan!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Enchanted Ball

So this weekend was BYU's Homecoming, and my students were in charge of the dances. I was in charge of going to the Enchanted Ball at Thanksgiving Point. They had this whole Cinderella-type theme, and they did a great job!

They built this elaborate display of a castle staircase and carriage and they had tiaras to give to all the ladies. It was so fun watching the look on the girls' faces when they saw that they got a tiara. They barely got the display finished before people started arriving.

Matt was my prince and came to the Ball with me. We even went out to a fancy dinner before the dance. It was a lot of fun. But I was ready to go about 2 hours before it ended.

Matt did the best thing he ever could have done by surprizing me with a lovely corsage to wear to the dance! It was so sweet. We had a really great turnout, and my students really did an excellent job with this dance and all the other Homecoming festivites!

Also this weekend I went to the Hale Center Theater costume sale and found a fantastic costume for only $15! I am so excited. My murder mystery this year is going to be a medieval theme and this dress is so perfect for my role as Medeival Queen. I also found some fun decorations for the party. I love Halloween!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

True Blue Football

It's Homecoming Week at BYU, and that means CRAZINESS!!! My students are putting on 11 events just this week. But of all the crazy events my students put on, True Blue Football is probably one of the coolest ideas I've ever heard of. First, you cover the field in blue foam...

...then you set up a giant slip-n-slide and cover that with foam too.

Then you watch all the crazy students slide down it. Over the course of the activity a huge blue foam pit forms at the bottom of the slide. This time it got up to about 2.5 feet deep.

Then you play flag football, volleyball, and tug-o-war in the blue foam.

Then you wrestle each other in the big foam pits all over the field.

It was pure craziness! But so fun! I cannot believe that little kid who is just sitting there in the middle of the foam. His parents must be nuts letting him in there with all the wild freshmen.

We did have two injuries. One sprained elbow and one broken arm. I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to go down the slide because I was attending to the injured. Oh well, it was still fun to watch. These pictures are from the beginning of the event, so you can't even see how much crazier and foamier it got later. With how crazy it was, I think going away with only two injured people was fantastic.

Let the Homecoming festivities continue!