I've always appreciated Nevada Day weekend. It was one of the only bonuses of moving to Vegas, I used to think. I mean, how much better does it get than to celebrate Nevada by getting an extra day off around Halloween? This year we took off Friday morning to go to Cedar City for the sheep festival where there was the dutch oven competition going with scads of other activities. Of course, as soon as we made it up there, we all hit Brad's Food Hut for THE best fried food and fry sauce EVER! I love that place. You know Cedar City IS the festival city and the festivities did not disappoint. We stayed at the uber-lovely Best Western (which REALLY has a sweet deluxe double room for those of you with kids looking for a place to stay AND they have a pretty impressive continental breakfast) which was centrally located so Tyler could run here and there getting all his last minute supplies together. I hung out with the kids so they could "rest," aka running around the hotel room and jumping on the beds while I tried to watch Oprah on the polygamists (so stinkin' interesting.) Once he got back we headed to the rodeo grounds for a hum-dinger of a college rodeo.
And can I just say every kid should go to a rodeo at least a few times when they are a kid. I have fond memories of going to the fair's rodeo a few times and tagging along with our "cowboy" friends when I was little. So, of course, when we pull up to the rodeo I can't help but reminisce a bit with my kids. Mackenzie's response was, "I think rodeos smell." And, yeah, they do a bit. We totally looked like the city folk amongst all the rodeo parents from Weber State, Southern Idaho, and Utah Valley colleges. Bruce, Tyler's dad, was loving it and I loved that my brother-in-law, Wade, bought a program so we could keep track. It got a little chilly whilst we were watching the events, so what better way to heat up than head to the Pizza Factory?
This is the only picture at dinner cuz, well, I was hungry. How do you keep seven kids still on a Friday night while waiting for a table? Bribery. Luckily Lexi had some skittles and if the kids could sit still they got one measley skittle. Once everyone got their first one I started round two. Travelling stresses me out a bit, and once we lost Brock and Caitlyn into the bathrooms a couple minutes after we got there, I figured we needed to do something. We only got thru two rounds before it was time to eat and can I just say $6.50 for all you can eat breadsticks and pizza is a steal of a deal. (Do I sound like I work for Cedar City Tourism yet?)
Friday night was rough. Tyler and I are spoiled with a king bed and a queen feels all squishy and invasive. Then, about 2:30ish Caylee makes it to our bed and explains she's pee'd her pants (but, luckily, not the bed - just the floor) because it's so stinkin' dark in the hotel room she couldn't find the bathroom in time. I felt pretty bad, especially cuz she hadn't been feeling well all day, and so I'm rummaging thru the duffel bag for a spare pair of undies. Once we got all tucked back in bed I tossed and turned until I heard someone in the bathroom gagging. It was probably about 4am by then, and poor Caylee was yacking in the toilet. So, I do the mom thing of rubbing the back, holding the hair, coaching her through the heaves, clean her up, re-tuck her in bed, and try again to go to sleep. Around 6:45am Tyler's wake-up call comes and I threaten him a few times to be totally quiet and not wake the kids, but then I got to pee and, well, basically it was a crappy night. The morning dawned a little better once we could get going. Like I said, breakfast was impressive (example? the hard boiled eggs were already peeled. Nice.) and then we loaded the car real quick so we could head over to the sheep festival parade down main street.
What do they have in a sheep festival parade you might ask? Sheep. Over 1000 head of sheep. And sheep wagons. It was pretty cool. The kids again exhibited their city-ness by shimmy-ing back to the sidewalk when the sheep started coming down the street like they were some sort of monster or something. It was pretty cool, and I found the sheep handlers just as entertaining as the sheep for all their hooping and hollaring and hopping around trying to keep the sheep contained. Then, to kill time after checking out, we went to the park to let the kids play.
Kenzie spent most of her time bossing the other kids into a work force to build up a leaf pile. I appreciated the touch of fall they got to experience and the energy they were able to expel before we headed to the CrossHollow events center with the dutch oven-ing. *Kinda weird side note, I totally ran into one of my best college friends when I pulled up to the park. I had been talking about Summer and her husband, Ryan, whose family work the sheep circut in Kanarraville, and lo and behold, who'd been driving one of the big rig livestock rigs? Ryan and Summer. It was totally random, and I told her I could have bet money that I would have seen her, but at the same time it was a little awkward since we're not very good at keeping in touch. Small towns, right?*
We tried to time our arrival with Tyler and Jared's first entry, the dessert. It was fun to see them both in action and there was a lot of people stopping by their booth to check out thier work. It was fun to see them really enjoying themselves, and the buzz was really positive since they were rookies and all. Some people there have been competing for, like, 20 years or so. Crazy. We hung out there a bit and then the moms took the kids to McDonalds to play and stay out of the kitchen. It was kindof a bummer to miss the action, but the kids were eating the stash of passer-by candy the guys had set out and it was a little nerve-wracking to be there for the judging. McDs was pretty busy, so we missed the bread turn-in. When we got back to CrossHollow, it was about time for the main dish submissions. They did SO well. I was impressed.
I figured after this weekend Tyler's list of "needs" for this hobby would increase considering some of the professionals had space rack portable cupboards, etc. So far, though, I haven't heard too much. It'll probably come out at Christmas. We were also blessed to have some friends stop by and visit. Tyler's most favorite mission companion, John, and my most favorite wife of John's (I mean, he only has one, but I really like Amy) stopped by with their little family a couple times throughout the day to show their support since they live in Cedar. That was fun. And then My Amber (bestest friend from SUU) got back into town and came by at the end of the day for the announcing of the winners. They're all such good people and I wish they'd all move to Vegas or something so we could hang out with them more :)
Here's the boys after the had finished. Really, they worked ALL day long never stopping to sit down or eat too much or anything. They were in the zone and loved every minute of it. While they cleaned up we took the kids to another park for a bit before the grand unveiling of the dutch oven masters (who won $4000.00 and qualified for nationals. This is big time people!).
Here we are showing our support. Next year (yes, apparantly this will be an annual event) I think I'll leave el kiddies at home so I can sit with the baby and support and watch all the action. Running/entertaining the kids with no real place to go kinda stressed me out. Unfortunately the boys didn't place, but they got really positive comments on their evaluations.
They're competitive enough it gives them fuel for the next fire (or charcoal, if you will.) Since we got home Tyler has discovered that two of the three teams that placed from Cedar competed in Nationals last year, which means they have placed before in other qualifiers. Is it political? Who knows, but we're already discussing the merits of cooking a cake instead of a pie. SUCH big decisions. Anyway, there were tons of pics, so I put 'em in this slideshow for the two days worth of events. Enjoy.
And thanks for all the nice comments on yesterday's blog. I am feeling fine; layed on the couch all day long today and the bleeding is considerably less (sorry if that's too much details for some of you!) Halloween was a success (in part thanks to a back up costume for Brock - more about that later) and we enjoyed our annual get together for chili and trick-or-treating. Pics to come soon.