Friday, November 30, 2007

If You Make a Missionary a Meal...

You will probably pick something that is easy to make and feeds a lot of people. Of course that means that you'll be making lasagna. But lasagna can be a little messy to eat so of course you'll bring out the cloth napkins.

When the missionaries arrive, they'll compliment your home, the meal, the plates, and of course, the napkins. When he sees the napkins, the missionary will remember how he's always wanted a tie made out of the same material. Being flattered by all the comments, you'll blurt out "I could make you one. I made the napkins and I still have some material left." Then the missionary will jump out of his skin because he is so excited.

As the week drags on and you begin work on the tie, you remember that you haven't sewed for so long because your sewing machine isn't behaving properly. You'll fight with it for weeks until you throw in the towel and use your friend's machine. But sewing in front of others is just a little intimidating so you'll do just enough to get by and finish the rest by hand.
Just when you think you're finished you'll ask your husband what he thinks and he'll remind you that ties need a little loopy thing on the back to tuck the loose end in. So you'll make one by hand and sew it on - twice, because the first time just wasn't right.

Then the missionary will come over nearly past his curfew to pick up the tie so he can wear it to zone conference the next day. And he will call you his "hero." Aww. What a nice story. Enjoy your picnic table tie Elder Hitchins.

But seriously, check out that hand stitching on the back!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Music News

My song "Now I Understand" has been chosen to be featured on an online compilation CD produced by the Carbon Drum website. Go HERE to check it out. It is track number 6 on the "Rock, Indie, Folk" CD.

There is a contest between all of the featured artists to see who can sell the most of these CD's. If you feel so inclined as to help me win the contest and purchase a piece of James Gillice music history, you can pre-order now for $9 on the site. Rest assured that 2/3 of that money goes to yours truly. Just be sure to enter my name where it says "Which band referred you?"

I have listened to some of the other songs on the CD. Some are OK. Some are even really good.

The song, "Now I Understand" is taken from my 2005 CD called "Making It Right Again". This song also did very well in another online contest last year on the GarageBand website. It received many positive reviews from other artists.

Here is a sample of some of those reviews of "Now I Understand":

Cool Pop Tune
This is refreshing stuff, a quirky little pop number complete with instrumentation from a Xylophone?? or is it Vibraphone, maybe even keyboards. Anyway this is the main hook in the song which also has some really cool guitar bits and other hooks galore jumping out at you. It starts off with some very atmospheric slide too which creates a really cool mood. THis is great pop, very original arrangement and heaps of melody. I love the vocals - slightly distorted and the lyrics are original - what a great song, bit 80s sounding but very original still. You gotta love a song with La La La's that work! Well done.
Reviewed by: Stewart777 from Sydney, Australia [flag]

Power pop the way it's supposed to be
This song combines a lot of instrument voicings that you wouldn't normally put in the same song, and somehow makes them all work so well together as a whole. From the lounge-sound of the initial bell tone keyboard combined with that sliding guitar sound that gives it a suedo-western flavor in the verse to the retro sounding electric that drives the very, very catchy chorus. I like the vocals a lot, delivered in a nonchallant style in the verse and kicked up a notch in intensity in the chorus, and all with that semi lo-fi effect on them that works so well. Bridge makes for a nice transition followed by that quirky guitar solo. There is a vulnurability and innocence in the vocals that is very appealing. And there are so many melodic hooks in this song that catch the listeners ear, it's hard to keep track of them all. It's like picking your favorite flavor at Baskin-Robbins. This is power pop at it's best, smart melodically and lyrically intelligent. Well-produced with solid musicianship throughout. I loved this song and I'm adding it to my personal playlist.
Reviewed by: bassoone from Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania [flag]

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Status of James' Beans

Whoo!! 100 Posts! What an accomplishment!

Now that that's out of the way - I believe my EXACT words were, "James also has some exciting music news, but I will let him tell you. I'll just say I am so proud of him." In fact, I know those were my exact words because I just copied and pasted from my old post. Anyway, I thought that this would spur James to share his music news within the next few days. He did not. So I am going to spoil his fun and spill his beans. He can give you more specific details as he gets them.

A couple weeks ago James entered his song "Now I Understand" into a contest run by a new online music company thingy called Carbon Drum (like I said, James knows the actual details). This new company would select the best songs for each genre and create a compilation CD. And, drum roll please.....James' song was picked for one of the CDs! So we don't have the particulars yet, but if James wants to, he can sell the CDs and there's a small reward for whichever artist sells the most. Most importantly, this CD will expose James' music to tons of people. And it's just downright awesome because an impartial third party picked HIS song over who knows how many were entered. So we're really excited. And James will have more information when we know more. And maybe he'll even post it! Go James!

Monday, November 26, 2007

So Apparently, I ROCK!

At Thanksgiving, anyway. Although I'm sure this applies to many other aspects of my life as well. First let me apologize for taking so long to get around to this. We've had company and I haven't been on the computer for nearly a week. But now our house is empty and Zoe is watching a movie so here we go.

James' dad and stepmom got to our house late Wednesday night, just after I'd finished preparing the mashed potatoes. On Thursday, I started cooking at nine in the morning and everything went smoothly from there - Sweet potatoes, turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls (not pictured, they were still in the oven and I forgot I was waiting for them to finish), gravy, and stuffing. I did it all! I was a little nervous to try a few new recipes, especially for Thanksgiving classics that I had never really done before. Everything was all ready right at five, table set and everything. I've been planning everything for weeks so I was really happy that everything went according to plan. It's what I live for!

James said that the sweet potatoes were the best things he had ever tasted in his life. So I guess everything turned out pretty well. I totally kicked some Thanksgiving butt and I can't wait to do it again next year! (if we're finished with all of our leftovers by then). Maybe some day I'll be brave enough to attempt the pies - I DO NOT bake. Just as a rule of thumb. Thank you Coldstone! Pumpkin ice cream pie is awesome.

Sorry to neglect Flashback Friday this week, but we were in Salt Lake all day with the family. We hit Ikea (of course) and then met up with cousin Jessie at the Gateway Mall. You can tell Jessie is great with kids because usually Zoe freaks out about facial hair and she didn't even flinch around Jessie. After wasting as much daylight as we could at the mall, we ventured over to Temple Square where the spectacular Christmas lights were on for the first time of the season. It was crowded and cold, to put it mildly, but we had a great time. Zoe was a trooper and put up very graciously with being bundled, unbundled, and hauled in and out of the car and the stroller.

All in all we had a GREAT time. We played tons of Nintendo and watched the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy - the extended version of course. Bill and Kathleen left this morning and Zoe cried for 10 minutes after they were gone. She's never done that before so I guess that means she likes them.We love you and miss you already. Can't wait to do it again!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

James' Highly Scientific Test Results

You Are a Green Crayon

Your world is colored in harmonious, peaceful, natural colors.
While some may associate green with money, you are one of the least materialistic people around.
Comfort is important to you. You like to feel as relaxed as possible - and you try to make others feel at ease.
You're very happy with who you are, and it certainly shows!

Your color wheel opposite is red. Every time you feel grounded, a red person does their best to shake you.
What Color Crayon Are You?

This is actually surprisingly accurate. Now it's Desta's turn.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What I'm Most Thankful For...

Happy Thanksgiving all! I'm so grateful for everyone who reads this and especially those who comment, and especially those who keep their own blogs up to date (yes I used especially twice - deal with it).

Today, as I scrubbed my house from top to bottom I started thinking about the things I am thankful for.

I am thankful that I was raised in a home where we scrubbed the house top to bottom before company came. My mom denied that we were doing a special cleaning job, that she always wanted her home this clean, but the timing was just too much of a coincidence. I embrace the "scrubbing for company attitude" and if you come over now and find dirt anywhere it will be because you tracked it in with you. And then I would have to ask you to leave and take your filthy ways with you.

I am thankful for cleaning products that make my skin burn. Because that means it is working. Dry winter skin and scrubbing for hours on end do not mix well. To add insult to injury, I somehow managed to smash my thumb while scrubbing the tub. I'll let your imaginations do what they will with that. I have some mad cleaning skillz.

So after I was through cleaning, the mail came and I got a letter from my old friend Jasmine. And that reminded me that I am, or um, used to be, thankful for hunky celebrities. Enclosed with her letter was a list that we (everyone we hung out with that is) made in high school of "Famous Hotties (in no particular order)." This list spans time, genre, and medium (we included "hot" cartoon characters). The list is three pages, front and back and the whole thing was in my handwriting. Obsessed much? Anyway, it did bring a smile to my face as I realized how far I've come since those days. I have, haven't I?

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Little Sewing Machine that Couldn't

I have had it up to here! I have devoted hours over the past week to a sewing project that should have taken me about 30 minutes. And so now I find myself between a bobbin and a hard place. Do I fix my ANCIENT sewing machine and hope that a $50 tune-up does the trick? Or do I cash in my chips and get a new one? I love my old machine and it has been great - providing us with curtains, table linens, bedding, and clothing over the past few years. But lately it spends more time mutilating my project than is really necessary. And I spend more time fixing the mistakes the machine has caused than I have caused. Basically it is two steps forward and three steps back (does anyone else remember that lame country song? It was my favorite when I was little!) . I would love to have a new machine but that would involve some sort of knowledge about how to buy a machine and what I am looking for (not to mention a large sum of cash floating around).


This is a picture of the model I use (it's not the one in my living room but I really didn't want to take a picture of it so I found this). If you don't know, my machine is THE EXACT machine my mom used when I was growing up (and still uses today). It really is old. 1963 old. It is made out of metal, which is actually one of the problems because the little internal light bulb heats up the casing and I tend to burn myself, since said casing is less than an inch away from my fingers most of the time. But I am so scared to get a new machine since basically I have never sewn on anything but this one. I am such a wuss.

But while I'm ranting - Can you (Erin, Marie and ToVah) believe that after last week's cliffhanger we will have to endure a CLIP SHOW this week? Of all the things to be UN-thankful for. Sheesh.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

World Premiere Videos! - "Sneath Clay" 2007

So I tried to post these last week when Travis visited us, but Blogger was having video issues. Here are some videos of James and Travis playing some of their old songs together. They haven't played together in a LONG LONG LONG time. Too long. First is one of their major hits Patiently Waiting. Second is the never-released song Fly Home. Lastly we have the feel good classic Another Sunny Day.

James also has some exciting music news, but I will let him tell you. I'll just say I am so proud of him.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Flashback Friday - Oh those Bernalillo Ward Girls!

Well hello again. Can you believe a week has gone by already? Goodness but time is getting away from me. But I digress. After I promised you all this post last week I realized I don't have that many wonderful pictures of me with my Bernalillo cohorts (holla!). Most of what I have is from various years at girl's camp and a few other exploits. I am lacking in the picture department because I didn't have my own camera way back when. My first years at college are WELL documented, but don't really fit today's category so we'll make do with what I have. Enjoy!

Ah Girl's Camp. It was hard to pick just one picture. This is from our 4th year overnight hike. I love camp because I get to dress like this and blame it on being outdoors. Secretly this was one of my favorite outfits. Tattered t-shirt over a thermal with a plaid flannel button-up thrown in for good measure. The 90s, how I miss thee. Also in the picture - Christie (Chavez) Coombs, Kelly Benson, Miranda Divett, Leslie (Shea) Fortier, and Kiora (Evans) Nield in the front.

Just an innocent night of picking out formal wear? Nope. We were on a scavenger hunt in the mall. We took tons of pictures and video of us doing really stupid things in public. And the video still exists somewhere at my parents' house. In the above picture - Leslie, Danielle Fortier, Kelly, and me. I think it was Danielle's birthday. (Kiora do you remember?) Anyway, we were only like 15 and the hole thing was really just a thinly-veiled rouse to get pictures with cute, much older, guys. Which brings me to the last picture:

Me and Danielle with a bunch of nameless Abercrombie and Fitch guys. They worked in the store and agreed to take a picture with us. If you can't tell by my goofy expression, the red-shirt guy surprised me. I think my exact thoughts were, "He's...touching...ME!" I also think he smelled pretty good. Ah to be young and have no shame!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Where are the baby's shoes?

You ask a toddler a question, be prepared (with a camera) for the answer:

I thought Zoe might just point to the little booties that her babies have stitched on their feet, but instead she decided to put the babies in my shoes. After half an hour of playing with the dolls and my shoes I had to tear her away for bath and bedtime. Otherwise she might still be doing this.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Nursery Reject

Yesterday Zoe was an ANGEL in church. I was sitting on the stand because I had to speak again (that's twice in 6 months) and James had Zoe. She was wonderful. She had a little outbreak in Sunday School, but falling out of a folding chair backwards warrants an outbreak. She was pretty traumatized, so James and I decided we would try chaperoning her in Nursery. Almost everyone we know says they started taking their kid a couple months early and just stayed with them. Well, I don't know if it was because James took her in or because James asked permission when he took her in, but the nursery teachers told him she couldn't be in there, even with parental supervision. I was pretty mad. It seems like everyone in the ward takes advantage of pre-nursery, and yet we can't? I don't understand. Zoe has been ready for nursery since she was walking. I was hoping to acclimate her over the next two months because she does have a problem with sharing and she can be very territorial if she likes something. Now, I'm just going to let her loose on the nursery and say "Good Luck" to the teachers. That'll teach 'em.

Wow, I'm in a vengeful mood. I guess 4 non-consecutive hours of sleep will do that to you. Yes, 4 whopping hours. Zoe was great at church, took a wonderful nap in the afternoon, and was a pleasure all evening. Everything was business as usual in the Gillice home. Then Zoe woke up screaming at 2 am. And at 3 am. And at 4 am. Eventually we brought her in bed with us which is SO crazy because Zoe does not sleep in our bed. We're not opposed to it in any way. In fact it would make my morning if she would come cuddle with me for even 15 minutes. Zoe does not sleep in our bed because SHE does not want to. So it was weird to have her sleeping next to me, if only for a few hours. She woke up right at 7 and wanted out, so that is where our day began today. Tired and cranky. And so was Zoe.

And here are some random pictures from last week when we had a moment of gorgeous weather. Those of you who have ever lived on or near Anne Circle should recognize the location.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Flashback Friday: Oh those Nevada City Boys!

We had a visitor this week - Travis Biggs. He was in town for a computer training thingy. Take a minute, laugh it off, and then come back. OK, so he stayed here a couple nights and James had some great times reminiscing with him. One night his sister came over as well. We laughed until our cheeks hurt. There was a lot of talk about those "Nevada City Boys." If you knew them in high school, then I don't have to say any more. If you didn't know them (like me) then you really missed out. Either way, here are some pictures. James can add the dates in later because I'm not quite sure of them.

Ben, Travis, and James attempting to look studly.

Ben, Travis, and Carter Buck.

Doug, Travis, and James. It was Crazy Hair Day at school. James thought it was crazy shirt day too. Oh wait, it was just the 90s, my bad. This is a scan of a very poor quality print but it had to be included because it is one of our most-prized possessions, photographically speaking. We have it framed in our house. If anyone has a better-quality version, we would love to have a copy!

And coming up next week, just so James and I are even - Oh those Bernalillo Girls!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Who's Your Daddy?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

If you buy only one DVD this year...

I AM SO HAPPY!! I am beyond words. And what could have this effect on me? Our favorite family Christmas movie just came out on DVD. The Christmas Card is the sappiest, silliest movie, with more plot holes than believable characters and some of the WORST lines ever! Above all, it was filmed in Nevada City (where James is from). I KNOW! It was on the Hallmark channel last Christmas and James and I taped it and watched it over and over and over. I fell down laughing when I found out it was on DVD. If you are familiar with the Nevada City/Grass Valley area and LOVE making fun of terrible movies, this one is for you. I think I'll watch it every day until Christmas. The only thing I love more than this movie are all the people who give it great reviews for being a witty, classic romance.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Flashback Friday: Dressing Up

So as a family, we've decided to dedicate Fridays on this blog to old pictures of us (and of those we have access to). If you are now thinking, "Wait, whatever happened to that picture where I'm ________ (insert repressed embarrassing moment here)?" The answer is probably that yes, James/Desta still has a copy and you better bet your sweet hiney that it will probably make it's way on to this blog eventually. We are equal opportunity embarrassers here, after all. Today we will start off relatively simple. Here are some great pictures of times we've felt compelled to play dress-up. I think I was inspired by all the costume frenzy from Halloween, although none of these moments had anything to do with that holiday. Enjoy! (and I know today is Saturday, but I started this post on Friday and it just took me that long to finish. I'm still counting it as Friday and next week I'll just get an earlier start.)

In these pictures we have James and Steve Namanny. The occasion - um, I think boredom and some of Pat's old clothes. (Circa 1997)

And now, me and some of my roomies and a neighbor - Jennie Anderson, Andrea (Paige) Smith, and Erin Herbert. The occasion - again, boredom and ward prayer. Yes, we would dress up for ward prayer. And yes, those are just slips we are wearing over our clothing. (Circa 2002)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween Stinks!

Yeah, I said it, what are you going to do about it, huh? Halloween is in no means a favorite holiday in the Gillice home. I'd say we barely tolerate it and put off celebrating it until the last possible moment. Why? I'm not really sure. "Spooky" stuff has never been that spooky to me and I can never think of a feasible costume (one that I have time, money, and skills enough to pull off). I do make sure that Zoe has a costume, that our pumpkins are carved, and that we haven't eaten all the candy for the trick-or-treaters.

It seems that Zoe's costumes are taking on a theme, however. A subtle one yes, but I still see a connection. They all seem to be a throwback to a New Mexico way of life. Last year she was a chili pepper and this year, I present none other than.... Zoe the Skunk! (and yes, the patch on the back says Lil Stinker)

Oh my she was a hit! I'll apologize now for the lack of photos from the ward party, but James was in class and I was too busy wrangling Garth and a cranky skunk to take pictures (I barely got to eat). But we took her trick or treating in the mall and got plenty of pictures there. Now, I don't mean to be vain, but Zoe is the cutest kid and she had the cutest costume. No competition. When Zoe was REALLY little, we thought we were just imagining how adorable she was, but almost everywhere we go, we literally have people stopping to adore her. Mall trick-or-treating was no exception. It was actually just on a much grander scale. Everyone passing out candy, all the other kids, and other (jealous) parents would stop, point, and say something like, "Look at that cute little skunk!" This isn't normal, is it? I don't do this to other children and it didn't really seem to be happening to any other kids I saw. I guess she really is just that dang cute. Even as a skunk. James said it was the little black nose that sealed the deal. Zoe never even rubbed it off!

So, Halloween still stinks, but we still had a pretty good time. Although Zoe is now addicted to candy. She wanted Whoppers for breakfast but I try not to encourage the digestion of malted milk in my house. So then she wanted a Dum Dum, but I told her we'd have to save it for lunch. You know, like we had yesterday for lunch. Mom of the Year sitting right here!

How To Carve a Pumpkin

by Zoe D'Lynn

1. Point to the pumpkin and call it a ball. Try to pick the "ball" up. Make sure you have your church shoes on, as this is very important.

2. Help dad clean the pumpkin. You should probably stand on the table for this.

3. Watch from your step stool as mom and dad do something really boring to the pumpkins for a very long time. (Mom said this is the juiciest pumpkin she's ever seen)

4. Whine until you get a snack.
5. Whine when you are done with your snack and you want down.

6. Roam around the house while mom and dad are still doing boring stuff.
7. Get scared when the lights go out!