Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Christmas Cousin Reunion

Our 2nd Annual Christmas Cousin Reunion: Gift Exchange took place in December. And it was rockin'. Whitney and Stetson hosted the par-tay in their actual home with a real fireplace and a real record player (almost half the size of their entry way). Whitney decorated the house beautifully, certainly setting the mood for a nice, quiet and enjoyable evening. It was nice. And it was enjoyable. But it wasn't quiet.

Most of us sat down to a lovely Lasagna dinner while Jarom, Darcy, and Ashley were stuck trying to get a broken-down car towed home. After several hours, they were finally able to make it and partake of the large amounts of lasagna still left over (a miscommunication blessed us with three lasagnas).

After dinner Whitney graciously shared a "Puppy Love" video that she had. (To Josh's dismay, this had nothing to do with Donny Osmond.) The "movie" was created for the purpose of having background entertainment while showing homes to customers. It certainly left us entertained for a few hours. ridiculous. The show, with the option of adding "natural noises" or music, was nothing but eight or nine puppies and small dogs playing in a glass pen. Trust me, it really was enthralling.
Once we had watched "Puppy Love" for as long as we could stand it, we had our gift exchange. I won't attempt to remember what Craig and Jaclyn, Whitney and Stetson, Lindsey, Jarom, Darcy, Ashley, or Josh (a BYU hoodie) and Clarissa (a giant bag of change) received but here are the pictures:

Post-gift exchange we played a rousing game of Pit. It was rather loud, by nature, until we realized (an hour later) that the Robinsons' renters weren't home downstairs--then it got out of control. The highlight of the game was Craig's unexpected "door dance" after he won a round. Classic.

The Lights on Temple Square

We visited Temple Square a couple of times in December--once with Ashton and Brad Kelley for the Christmas Devotional and another time with Grant and Jill for a fun date night. The Square was always packed but that helped everyone stay a little warmer. The temple and the lights, as usual, were beautiful.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Most coveted shirt on campus: The Intramural Champion Shirt

This year has been one to remember on the intramural front. After I was released from the Bishopric in June I was called to be the Ward Sports Coordinator--in my opinion the best calling in the Church. So I have been involved in many different intramural teams this year. I have played softball, flag football, coed volleyball, but the most memorable was the men's soccer team that I played on (it wasn’t a ward team, though). As we started the single elimination play-offs we defeated our opponents soundly in the first several rounds. When we got to the final four, the tournament changed into double elimination.

As we played in the last game of the winner’s bracket we were down 2-0 with about 6 minutes left in the game. With our backs against the wall we scored 3 goals in the remaining 6 minutes to win the game. The team we beat then had to go and play in the loser’s bracket to get into the championship game and play us again, which they did.

In the Championship game we scored first and it was 1-0 until the final minutes of the game when they scored to tie it up. Regulation expired with a 1-1 tie. Five minutes of golden goal (first to score wins) overtime followed where neither team scored. So we went to a shoot out where we made all of our first four shots and our opponents missed two of theirs so we won without having to take the fifth shot. It was a very exciting game and after years of coveting that Intramural Champion T-shirt I finally got one.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rise and Shout...

The Hoo-Hahs are out! (Note. "Hoo-hah" is what "Cougar" sounds like shouted from the crowd when heard on the field of Lavell Edwards Stadium while holding a musical instrument and arrayed in fine marching band apparel. Thanks for the story, Monique.)

The Cougars may have already skinned the Oregon State Beavers in their post-season Las Vegas bowl game but we'd still like to share our memories of a very great BYU football season.

1. Opening the season with an extraordinary win against No. 3 Oklahoma. Big thanks goes to Colby Clawson for tackling Sam Bradford in such a sound manner.

2. Attending the traditional Homecoming Pancake Breakfast and Parade, accompanied by Grant and Jill Ensign and Tim, Aubrey, and Maya Chaves.
The traditional waiting line for blue pancakes.

Traditional blue pancakes made complete by traditional blue milk (like in Star Wars).

Jill and Grant eating traditional pancakes with us.

The traditional marching band.

Josh and Grant celebrating the parade in an untraditional-like manner.

3. Having high hopes when playing outstanding teams like Florida State and Texas Christian at home. (I won't mention that we devastatingly lost to both teams...)

4. Having Craig (and sometimes Jaclyn) join us at all the home games. Those long walks up 300 East to campus and from campus to the stadium were always memorable.

5. The BYU vs. Utah game. After they beat us and Alabama in the Sugar Bowl last year, we were ready for a big win. And to have the Cougars storm out in the original Cougar blue (in fashion after the 1984 National Champions, 25 years ago) helped the crowd go NUTS!

The BYU crowd storming the field after our overtime win against Utah.

Cider Festival

17 October 2009
Last October I FINALLY made it to the Holmstead's Cider Festival. In the Fall my Aunt Lorena, Uncle Bruce, and cousins Josh, Joseph, Jesse, Mary, Peter, and Libby host a giant party in their yard where guests indulge in chili, homemade doughnuts, and gallons upon gallons of freshly squeezed apple cider.

This year, Cider Festival began with a morning drive to the apple orchard in The Middle of Nowhere, Idaho. (Except it is right by Chicken Dinner Road--I do know that.) There were a lot of family members there: most of the Holmsteads, the Farnes, Darcy and her boyfriend, Lindsey and her three boyfriends, and Craig and Jaclyn. So, of the Whetten family, that made for 3 of the 10 siblings and 11 of the 27 grandchildren.

We went up and down the rows of apple trees, picking the good ones off the ground, shaking the fat ones out of the tree tops, and searching for the "treasures" hiding in the leaves. I can't even remember how many bushels of apples we gathered but it was A TON.

Back at the Holmstead farm we made lunch with Grandma and Grandpa Whetten, tidied up the house, organized an assembly line for the cider press, said "Hi" to the cows, gave leftovers to the chickens and gathered eggs, played soccer in the backyard, lamented the llamas that had been removed, petted the horse's nose, assembled a troupe to make the doughnuts, and put out a few stalks of corn for decoration.

People came by the van-loads all evening long. We had kids going on tractor rides, fiddlers playin' a tune (okay, maybe violinists), and conversations all over the place. It was a perfect Cider Fest!

Chicken Dinner Road

Legs hidden among tree trunks.

Aunt Lorena, the Hostess with the Mostest

Lindsey holding a "Twillight" apple

A Craig! Looks like he found "The Num Nums"!

Johnny Appleseed and I share the same birthday.

The Holmstead farm

What little brother Matt wants to be when he grows up.
(The answer is: a baby cow)