Here are some pictures we took during 2004.

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We went hiking:

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Dallas decided to make root beer.  It didn’t exactly work…but he had fun trying!

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We baby-sat Stratton while his parents were out of town.  We took him up the canyon for Family Home Evening and some frisbee:

 

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We went to the Manti pageant with some friends:

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My handsome photographer:

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Our first wedding anniversary.  The cake we saved all year was disgusting:

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Dallas heart attacked our entire apartment for our anniversary:

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We visited Temple Square to see the lights:

 

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Provo used to have this great tradition where volunteers would create scenes out of candy and display them in store windows along Center Street similar to what ZCMI used to do.  Dallas’s mom, Kathryn, was in charge of this event and Dallas had always wanted to make a candy window.  Kathryn insisted that Dallas organize a committee before he be allowed to participate.  Apparently marrying me was all it took and armed with his committee of one Dallas signed us up to participate.

We spent hours and hours and hours and HOURS working on our candy window.  We like to joke (though it wasn’t really a joke…) that every fight we had our first year or marriage had to do with our silly candy window.  Happily our marriage survived, and we completed our window.  We loved how it turned out.

The theme was “O Christmas Tree.”  We had the idea to make a scene where the dad gets stuck in the tree all tangled up in lights as he’s trying to set up for Christmas.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to make a candy window.

We had to construct a table to set the window display on:

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Our living room looked like this from about September to December:

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We used a Spiderman doll as the base for our man.  Here’s Dallas trying to rip him apart since we only needed his limbs:

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There he is all ready to be covered in candy:

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We used edible clay for his face and clothes:

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Here is the finished tree:

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This is the beginnings of the bookshelf.  We melted Tootsie Rolls, rolled them out, and spread them over our bookshelf base:

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My Mom helped us out quite a bit especially at the end.  She made a lot of the little finishing touches like the plants and other things that we put on the bookshelf and table:

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Isn’t it so cute?  Everything had to be covered in something edible.  You might notice we printed a tiny picture out of us and coated it in sugar and placed it on the bookshelf:

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It’s all coming together:

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See that window?  And the mirror hanging above the TV?  We melted a special kind of sugar which makes that glassy look as it dries:

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The only problem is that melted sugar is VERRRRY hot as Dallas unfortunately found out when he burnt his two fingers as he was melting it.  He had to keep his fingers in cool water for many hours after that.  We were meeting up with my parents for dinner minutes after he burned himself so he fashioned a plastic baggie filled with ice water and rubber banded it to his fingers to soothe the burn while we were out.  I couldn’t stop laughing at the ridiculousness of his contraption the whole night:

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It looks like this is the best picture I have of the finished window:

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I’ve never been one to want to go crazy dressing up for Halloween.  Then I became a schoolteacher and realized that even though I was an adult with a grown-up job, I would still be needing to find a costume each October.

My second year as a teacher I had the idea to dress up as Viola Swamp from the Miss Nelson books.  Miss Swamp is the evil substitute teacher who whips Miss Nelson’s class into shape when Miss Nelson is absent.  It turns out that Miss Nelson was really Viola Swamp and acted mean to teach her naughty class a lesson.  I had so much fun pretending to be Miss Swamp.  My first graders were almost positive that it was still me dressed up as Miss Swamp…but there was still a tiny element of uncertainty.  Months later my students would occasionally bring up Halloween and say things like, “We know it was really you. It was. It was really you…wasn’t it…?”

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8And so a tradition was born.  Once a month my Grandma hosts a dinner for all of her children and their families.  My Mom and Grandma had heard all about my costume and wanted to see it in action so they made the October family dinner a dress-up affair and it’s been that way ever since.  Everyone really got into it:

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I think you can pretty much tell what everyone is supposed to be except maybe Dallas who is Nephi and Sarah who is Sonic the Hedgehog.

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Here are some other family members in costume at the dinner:

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