Saturday, March 19, 2011

Here Come Da Judge (and misc. other stuff...)

Disclaimer No. 1: This post will be fairly picture-heavy, but unbelievably, no pictures having to do with actual judging. What was I thinking??
Disclaimer No. 2: I have blatantly taken all these pictures from Sharon's, Jill's, Katie's and Toni's blogs without their permission. But I know they love me. So I'm assuming they won't sue me.

We were in Shafter, California, this weekend so Mark could be one of five judges for the local competition of Distinguished Young Women. This was formerly called America's Junior Miss. I used to think it was like the practice competition leading up to Miss America or something. Definitely not the case. It is based on many factors: scholastic achievement, physical fitness, talent, poise, and self expression, and it was called Junior Miss because the girls were in their junior year in high school.
When Mark and I started having college kids over for Monday Night Football in 1996, eventually we found out we had not one, but two, former winners of the the Shafter Junior Miss competition coming to our house every Monday night.
(Jill, Shafter's Junior Miss 2001, and Jason)
(Toni, Shafter's Junior Miss 2002, and Peter)

Over the years, Mark has tried to convince Jill that he would make an excellent judge. She always laughed that off. (If you know Mark, I'm sure you are saying to yourself, "Duh, go figure...") Turns out there was an opening for a judge this year. Turns out Mark's wish came true.

He was one of five judges, and spent Friday afternoon and evening in an individual interview process with each contestant and then the program last night, where they judged everything else. He was well prepared, having carefully studied each girl's application, and then watching some DVDs from previous years, getting judging pointers from Jill.

This is an excellent program, and each girl is a winner. Maybe not being one of the girls who actually wins the title, but winning greater confidence and poise. Mark enjoyed being one of the judges, and if asked again next year he would definitely say yes.

While he was being all "judgmental," I got to go on a house tour of sorts. We stayed with Jill's parents. They have been doing a lot of updating (Sharon has posted a lot of cool pictures--check out her "home tour" posts), and this was the room we stayed in.

It felt like an upscale hotel. Thanks, Bob and Sharon!

Next up, Jill's brother and sister-in-law, John and Katie's house. They have done a lot of updating as well. When I read Katie's blog, I get a lot of crafty ideas,

decorating ideas,

and yummy recipes.

Finally, this morning, Mark and I stopped at Toni and Peter's house. I read Toni's blog all the time, too, and they have transformed their home as well. Seems to be a lot of that going on in Shafter lately. Toni has achieved the "look" I would love to have in my own home.

Toni also loves to cook so, like Katie and Sharon, she posts recipes that are definitely worth checking out (and she takes such beautiful pictures of them).

It was a very fun weekend. Fun to attend the competition and to connect with out-of-town friends we don't see nearly often enough.

Remember how I have posted some pictures that Mark takes while he is actually driving? I witnessed my first "drive-by (photography) shooting" on the way to Shafter, but I'll have to post it later (after I can find the cable to his camera...)

Finally, if you haven't had a chance to stop by and say hi to Carla and help her celebrate her first blogiversary, please do. And you still have time to come back and comment here for a chance to win a pincushion.

Tomorrow (hopefully), a sneak peak at what I'm working on...