Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Pictures...

We went to the pumpkin patch and picked out pumpkins. (try saying that 3 times fast!) It was time to carve them and so the boys set to work.
Sam de-gutted his pumpkin.

My other "big boy" takes his pumpkin carving very, very, very seriously.

Really seriously....really.

Why do I let him have sharp objects???

Ty got in on the Halloween action. She had to be locked on the back porch because she like to eat trick-or-treaters, well, not really eat, just barks ALOT and we thought she might scare the little children. Or not.

Here are the results:

Brett's Pirate.

My Smiling Happy Pumpkin.

Sam's Jack Skellington

Andrew's Skull (carved by Brett)

It was really fun.

The final product. They look pretty cool outside in the dark too.

Chuck moved outside for the evening festivities. Brett is such a fraidy-cat!

I have seen some spiders this size in my shower.

I do believe that sometimes I am the only normal one in this family....

I am telling you, the normal smile on his face is deceiving.

See, I told you.

Happy Halloween from the Belleque's!

Finally, band pictures!

It was a cold night at the football game. The Oregon Hawks are in the state playoffs and we won tonight - 27 -7. It was a fun game. Sam missed trick or treating...actually handing out candy...and scaring small children because the band played one last time. Here is the picture of the Q-tip hat that I have been promising. He played the baritone some of the time, and the tuba the rest. (boy, he really needs a haircut...)There is the infamous tuba...It is huge, but the Sousaphone is in the shop. Can't wait for that. He is going to learn the Sousaphone dance and perform it next year. He also gets to wear a beret, because he is a tuba player. Yay! No more q-tip.
Looks excited to be there, eh?

Marched in with the tuba, but no marching around the field.

Where's Sam? (too bad his name isn't Waldo)

All in all, the band did great. It was fun to watch one last time. They are really improving. We had a great turn out for the banquet and I volunteered to be the secretary for the band boosters.
Yay for me! It is better than the president! That honor went to Mr. Eckhart.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch!

On Saturday, we all drove down to Rock Falls to the big pumpkin patch/haunted house. We weren't sure how it would go and let's just say, it was very interesting. We got all the way to the place and then Andrew had a meltdown, for reasons that were rather funny, when we thought about it later (and because it would embarrass him, I won't talk about here!) For those of you who are not initiated in the ways of meltdowns...lets just say, it is a good thing I don't embarrass easily... They had some really neat-o mini pumpkins and gourds. They were so pretty with the sunshine and bright colors.
The petting zoo was pretty fun too. I really thought the pigs were cute, but I wouldn't want one for a pet. The little black one was a, well, a "pig" about his food. The pink one had the cutest little tail that went around in circles.

We now know why they call them "pot bellied pigs". You can see how fast the black pig's tail is moving! Wheee!

There were ducks....can you say "aflack!"?

Mr. and Mrs. Peacock had their own cage. Mrs. really does blend into the background, but she was really pretty shades of brown and gold.

Andrew in a happier moment. He really liked the scarecrow. Kept sticking his hand inside the scarecrows pumpkin head. Hmmm...?

Is your mama a Llama? Check out the eyelashes! Maybe it's Maybelline?

yes, yes, I know...He is 15....but I made him....

The bus was his idea, however!

Sam and Jerry Gourd....Look at all Jerry's brothers on the ground behind him...Asher would have loved these!

Lots and lots of pumpkins!

Are we having fun yet? Well, Sam and I were...not Andrew. Those are our pumpkins in the wagon. Now they are sitting on my kitchen counter waiting to be carved.

You know those stories about corn and spooky things? Well, I caught a picture of an alien coming out of the corn. Sort of reminds me of War of the Worlds... that Tom Cruise?

I really think this is the most sincere pumpkin patch. I sat in the car waiting while the boys went through the haunted house. ( I do not deliberately put myself in places where things jump out at me!) But I didn't see the Great Pumpkin.
I was trying out my night setting on my camera. It took me some time, but I figured out how to get a picture of the really spooky pumpkins. I used the night setting, balanced the camera on the door of the car and used a 3 second timer. It worked pretty good.
I don't have pictures of the haunted house, but I guess it was pretty fun. Andrew liked it too. Brett tried to keep track of him and almost lost him in the dark. Sam said Andrew kept talking to the people trying to scare him saying things like "back off". Sam got spooked a couple of times, but generally it was a pretty tame haunted house. It was fun to do something together as a family, even though it started out pretty rough. It would have been fun to have Nick and Alena, Kris and Thomas here too.
I think it is normal for me to want my chicks all around me. But I really miss them this time of year. I think because of the holidays coming up. And of course, there isn't anyone around to frost the sugar cookies....

Time to catch up a bit...

Sam says he's not photogenic, well, this time I'd have to agree! I don't know what was up with the kid, but he looks a little weird...or maybe wired!
Anyway, we are very proud of him because he was awarded Most Outstanding Freshman in the marching band. I think it was because he had never marched before, he learned to play and march at the same time in 2 weeks and he is from Montana. For some reason, the kids there just think Montana is some sort of novelty. They call him "Montana" and have taken to calling me, "Mrs. Montana".
Meet Chuck. I knew that we would have more bugs in Illinois than in Montana, but this is ridiculous!

Seriously, this is the newest addition to the Halloween collection that is at our house. Chuck will be outside on our light with the purple runner lights and pumpkins. I will take more pictures on the big day.

I have been quilting. This is my first attempt at triangles. The pattern is "Flock of Geese". I think it turned out pretty good. It is fun to put patterns and stuff together. I have lots to do for Christmas!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

IOWA - what a state!

I decided to try to use bigger images, hopefully some of the detail will be easier to see.
Brett and I went on a road trip last week to Iowa to see a missionary friend down there. We left the boys at home alone, thankfully Sam handled everything and Andrew did great on his own, so we had a good time and didn't worry about them.
Iowa is really pretty, it is harvest time, lots of combines out on the fields. It is rolling hills and corn, lots and lots of corn. AND for some reason, lots of cemetaries and funeral homes. I kept admiring these really neat victorian houses only to discover that they were funeral homes!
This is taken from a rest area right across the border of Illinois and Iowa. The river is the Mississippi River. I can hardly believe that I live East of the Mississippi River. I NEVER thought I would. But then, I am doing alot of things I never thought I would.

Okay, yes, this is a water tower. EVERY town has one. But as Brett and I were getting gas we noticed something interesting about this particular town. The name of which is MONTEZUMA. I believe the residents call it Monte. Who can blame them?

If you look closely, you can see the "Welcome to Montezuma" banner. But I am not sure you can see the name of the store beneath the banner.

Yep, it is the PIT STOP! Okay, I thought it was funny...get it ...."Montezuma's Revenge" and the "Pit Stop".....Okay, maybe not hilarious, but Brett laughed....

We came up with all sorts of town motto's
"Welcome to Montezuma...don't drink the water"
Welcome to Montezuma...where revenge is sweet"
Okay, you get the idea...

We ate at a restuarant called "The Machine Shed". It was really nice. The waitresses all wore overalls. They are famous for their apple tarts and of course, their very LARGE Corn.

This little guy was trekking across the sidewalk at a rest area. He was so cute. I had to try out the macro lens on my camera. Hmm, Bretts tennis shoes are looking a little worn.

Brett and I are realizing the privilege that we have to serve here in the midwest. This really is the heartland of America. People are all friendly and interested in life around them. We get to have a new adventure here, out of our comfort zone, surrounded by new sights and things to do. It is exciting, scary and fun all at the same time. I hope that someday we can share this adventure with some of you! Come and visit and we can show you some of the greatest corn fields and funeral homes around!

Fall colors in Illinois

It has been an absolutely gorgeous fall here in Illinois. I know that some of you are having cold weather and snow, but here most days have been sunny and brisk, with that great smell in the air that comes from autumn leaves and all that fresh air. We have really enjoyed the fall colors here and I haven't really missed driving through the University of Montana campus and looking at the trees there. Soon it will be time for Sam to climb up on the roof and clean out the gutters!This is up at the Stronghold. The camera really doesn't capture how beautiful the leaves are.
This is a bush outside my back door. It is such a vibrant red!

I caught the Canadian geese in this picture by accident. They are all flying south!

Blackhawk looks pretty good surrounded by all that color! I was standing across the river when I took this picture! I am loving my new camera!

This is the wide angle lens on my camera. It shows how far away I was when I took the shot. The river was so still that day and the reflection was so cool!
The pillar of cloud you see isn't really a cloud, it is Lenny (one of the cooling towers at the nuclear power plant outside of Oregon). Andrew named the two towers Lenny and Squiggy.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Stronghold

We have been exploring our surroundings and discovered one of the most beautiful places! The Presbyterian Stronghold is just outside of Oregon. It is the host of many things, camps, retreats, the Rennassiance Faire, just to name a few. It is amazingly beautiful. This is the courtyard of the castle.
My new camera takes great shots! This is the fountain and flowers - yes, they are still blooming!
One of the lions standing guard!
Another view of the courtyard
Brett liked the lions!