Monday, October 28, 2013


If it is the Monday before Halloween (that pagan holiday) then it must mean our Family Home Evening activity is carving pumpkins. 

Sarah's Harry Potter with forehead scar and wand. She carved out the glasses with a small dull knife (she cut her finger on Saturday carving a pumpkin at her friend's house).

Joel's pumpkin was the thickest, hardest pumpkin I have ever carved. We were going to let Joel do the carving this year, but there was no way we were going to let him lose with a knife on such tough skin.  After carving the mustache I tried to carve an oval  mouth, but each puncture of a knife led to lateral cracks so I ended up following some of the cracks.

Will came up with the idea of big buck teeth and then added some blood on the side.

Very cool how the light shines through the partially carved out skin to make the glass frames glow. Great idea and carving Sarah!

Mmmm, Marie roasted the pumpkin seeds. A nice bed time snack.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sabbath Walk

Today after church and after Chad's famous ginger stir fry, we headed out for a Sunday afternoon walk (not to be confused with a hike, which is something more appropriate for a non-Sabbath activity!). Our destination was Battle Creek Falls, just .6 of a mile up the foot hills of Mt Timpanogos from Pleasant Grove. 

Totally unplanned we ended up taking some photos that may or may not be used in our Christmas letter which we may or may not send out.

Christmas and fall colors combined.

Many of the trees had already lost their leaves, but the river birch were still holding on to their last yellow leaves, most of which were now carpeting the stream bank.

We came home to enjoy Marie's famous apple crisp followed by finishing the second half of the Bridge on the River Kwai (another classic I have introduced to the kids and Marie).

Saturday, October 26, 2013


We had thought to go on a hike this morning to enjoy the gorgeous fall weather, but then Sarah remembered she had volleyball games with the Young Women in the ward so I headed out into the yard to see what needed doing. Nuts needed doing. When I landscaped our yard 15 years ago, I decided to plant some food storage. In addition to a variety of fruit trees and bushes, I planted two filbert trees and a walnut tree. My thinking was that in times of need they would be a good source of protein and perhaps something us gatherers could trade with those hunters. Sarah, who gathered the filberts, thinks these nuts are a good match with the color of her hair.

As the walnuts have fallen over the past few weeks we have piled them under the tree. Today I pulled off the dried brown (hard to do) or green husks (much easier). Joel and Will helped by kicking the soccer ball into the tree which brought done even more nuts.

We added a few acorns and horse chestnuts to the mix of nuts. 

We will dry the husked nuts on the front porch and  then in a month or two I plan to shell them and bag them for future use. I have done the husking and drying before, but have never gotten around to shelling them. This time I will be sure to do it. I will then try to introduce walnuts into the non-walnut liking diet of the other members of this household. Sarah is excited to try making candied walnuts for Christmas (to give to others) so there is hope.

A few walnuts still in their husk that missed the falling kicks of the soccer ball.

Our two year old Autumn blaze maple has been a colorful replacement to the globe willow.

Garden harvested Halloween/Fall/Thanksgiving decor.

Nature's bouquet

Sarah's bouquet.

Yesterday the kids were out of school so Marie took them to a pumpkin patch. Will sure knows how to strike a pose.

This afternoon we joined with some of the BYU Jerusalem Center students from Fall 2009 to watch a wonderful National Geographic Imax film about Jerusalem. The photography was amazing. Also nice was using three teenage girls (Christian, Muslim and Jew) as the lens by which the attachment of all three peoples to the city was explained. Made me homesick.

To view the trailer Click here

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Lucky 13


Thirteen years ago today (October 13, 2013) on a Friday the Thirteenth (with a full moon to boot) Joel Tueller Emmett joined our family thanks to an emergency c-section. We are lucky to have him as part of our family. Since his birthday falls on Sunday this year we did the main celebrating yesterday.

We started out with the traditional BYU homecoming parade.

Reminds me of the two times I danced in the homecoming parade as a member of the BYU folk dancers.

Uncle Matt (left of Marie), who is the US Ambassador to Kuwait, was in town to be honored as the honored alumni from BYU's Kennedy Center for International and Area Studies. Aunt Diane from Boston came to join in the festivities so we had a good gathering of Tuellers at the parade.

Matt's sons David (left) and Chris (right) plus David's wife Ayae and daughter Yuna plugged their ears in anticipation of the firing of the canon (named George Q.) by the ROTC.

Joel (always quick to laugh) and Sarah (who is very skilled at french braiding her own hair) with cousin Emma and Aunt Diane.

Greeting cousin Ben who was walking the the parade (and throwing out candy) with his fellow writing lab colleagues.

After the parade we headed up Little Cottonwood Canyon for a fun afternoon at the Snowbird Oktoberfest. 

We tried the brand new alpine coaster which was pretty fun. We exhibited so much delight in the first ride that they gave us a free second ride (each ride is $15 per person). Sweet.

We then all sampled some bratwurst and sauerkraut plus some warm potato salad.

There was even good German entertainment. Unfortunately we were in line for food during the chicken dance and then outside when they played the Beer Barrel Polka (always a favorite--we danced to it at our wedding).

Joel and Will then tried the alpine flyer.

Glazed waffles dipped in decadent chocolate. Good thing sugar and chocolate are not verboten for Mormons. That night we watched the BYU football game at home thanks to a Comcast upgrade so we could get the game station.

On Thursday (fall break) we all went to hear Uncle Matt lecture, but due to the government shutdown the State Department said that such a lecture was non-essential and so he could not give a "lecture." The Kennedy Center kicked into improvisation mode and so the lecture became a reception and a Q&A session.

Friday night Matt (and the other honored alumni from each of the colleges) was recognized at the BYU Homecoming Spectacular. BYU alum Nathan Pacheco was the headliner. He is a rising singing star and he did not disappoint.