Sunday, October 07, 2018

Our Busy Weekend - Part Miles

So this post deals with Miles' activity for the busy weekend.  He went, with Ben, to Eagle for his first-ever mountain bike race with his high school teammates.  The other races have all been on Sunday, so this was/is the one and only race he will be racing in this season.  I was afraid it would not happen due to the rainy weather we've been having!  In fact, the pre-ride on Friday afternoon was canceled because the track (race path?) was way too wet.

So Ben and Miles hung out at the team's tent that Friday evening and everyone just bought some dinner and ate together, picnic style, at the Pit Zone.  After that, Ben and Miles drove to Glenwood and met up with myself and the two girls at the Cedar Lodge hotel/motel.  The kids watched a show or two.  Ben and I started watching the BYU football game.  I couldn't finish it b/c it wasn't too happy for Cougar fans and so I went to bed - Ben finished the game.

We got up that morning and Ben and I went on a walk in the awesome fall morning.  It was beautiful and perfect weather.  Then we got back and the kids enjoyed the continental breakfast.  Miles and Ben headed out about 9:15 and we girls left by about 10:30.

Miles is in the freshman boys group and there were about 130 of them.  As Miles hasn't raced before and thus doesn't have a time, he was placed last in line.  Your placement is all related to your previous race finishes.  Anyways, Miles had to do two 5.7 mile laps.  He ended up passing about 30 other kids and finished 101st.  Not too bad!  No one passed him.  Miles said he passed a lot on the "little hills because kids can't ride fast up-hill."  He goes slow on the downhill as he doesn't like to do that fast.  But we think he did great!  It took him about 70-minutes to do the two laps.  He felt just great and was happy to do it and be there!  His team took 1st again - they have taken 1st at every race this year!

 Miles pre-race.

 The "staging" area - getting the kids all in line.

 Miles waiting for his name to be called up . . .

 In line - those two are the last ones in their group!

 Here is Miles coming down after the first lap!

 All done - awesome job Miles!

The team winning first!

Two videos:
This is the beginning of Miles' wave of freshman boys.  There were two groups of about 75 boys.

Miles coming down the steep switch-back section.  He lucked out and there weren't too many kids (none, really) coming down at the same time.

Ben totally loved being there and loved watching it all.  Sometimes, he said, there would be like 8 racers zooming down!

A fun eventful weekend!

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Our Busy Weekend - part Lucy

Well we are just about finishing up our crazy weekend of kids' extracurricular activities (Ben and Miles are still driving home).  Emmy and Lucy had gym meets, Miles had a mountain bike race, and Jonas had a school activity night that he helped out running as he is part of STUCO (student council).  We lucked out in that Ben was able to get Friday off as there were no cases scheduled at the surgery center.  So I left at about 12 with the girls - to Aspen.  Ben and Miles headed out about 12:30 to Eagle.  We met up that night in Glenwood, which was sort of in the middle - about 50 minutes from Aspen and 30 from Eagle.  We stayed at a hotel there.

Lucy's team - the level 3s - were schedule to compete on Sunday (tomorrow).  However, we had already made the choice that we wouldn't compete, etc. on Sundays, so this was out of the question.  Yet, Lucy still was super-sad about it and had a little cry in the bathroom at gym when she found out (per Emmy).  Coach Kirk, however, managed to get Lucy in the first session of Level 3s on Friday afternoon.  So cute little Lucy was the lone representative from Snow Shadow Gymnastics.   She was a little nervous during the week, maybe a bit more nervous right before, but seemed to calm down and enjoy herself at the meet!

She did well and had fun - a win-win.  She started off on the bars and earned an 8.0.  On to beam where she got a 7.9.  Next was floor - 8.3.  Finally vault - 9.0.  The other teams there were really, really good and there were lots of scores of 9.0 and above.  In fact, the all-around winner got a 38.85.  Crazy.  Lucy's all-around was a 33.2.  Go Lucy!

 Here we are heading in to the gym!  I had pulled the girls out of school and we drove away from there.  There were no bathrooms available early at the gym, so we found the local library (it was awesome!) and Lucy changed there.  I then braided her hair while she read some books.  Awesome.  :)

 The lone gymnast!

Lucy tagged along with the black and pink team - Mountain Gymnastics, from Boulder.  They were super sweet to her and by the end were cheering her on, "Go Lucy!"  The coaches high-fived her at the end.  Another coach came up afterwards and told her he was impressed with her doing it alone (i.e., no teammates) and loved her smile and that she was the funnest gymnast to watch.  :)

 So she ended up getting a silver medal in all-around.  How this gym did awards was this:  anyone with an all-around less than or equal to 31.9 received a bronze medal, 32-34.9 received a silver, and 35 and over won a gold medal.  It was actually kind of cool.  They didn't do individual event medals, but each child received a ribbon after each event that went in to their envelope (so, a 9.0 and higher = blue ribbon, a 8.0 - 8.9 = red ribbon, 7.0 - 7.9 = yellow ribbon, etc.).

 Lucy and Coach Kirk!

Lucy was really proud of her performance, and said just that as we walked out of the meet.  She definitely had a great time!

Lucy's videos:

Our Busy Weekend - Part Emmy

Well, this was a bit of a heart-breaker meet for Emmy (and, thus, her mom!).  She just didn't receive good scores and was quite devastated by it (as was her mom . . .).  I get choked up right now just thinking of her sadness and her crying and her hurt and disappointment.  She was so excited for this meet!  But she just gets soooo nervous.  Like sooooooooo nervous.  Like soooooooooo nervous she forgets half of her beam routine/skills and gets one of the lowest scores I've seen.  I won't say her scores until/unless I get permission from her . . . :)

Emmy had two teammates with her - Natasha and Jhoselin.  They had the same rotation that Lucy had:  bars, beam, floor, and vault.  Emmy has had her kip on and off in the past couple of months.  She had done them solidly the Thursday before the meet and so she was feeling pretty positive about it.  And . . . she did them both (one on the high bar and one on the low bar) at her competition.  Which made her feel good about her routine . . .until she got her score.  She got a 7.5 and I could tell she was really bummed by it.  I gave her two-thumbs ups, but she just shook her head at me.

Next was the beam.  She didn't have a great warm-up, but did stick her cartwheel.  Unfortunately, she fell at the end of her cartwheel and maybe that's what threw her off?  Honestly, I was just videoing it . . . and not watching it.  Yes, I'm nuts.  I get nervous watching beam.  So she finished, I cheered.  Then I saw her score and was like, "What?!?!"  Emmy was crying as soon as she finished.  I'm not supposed to go to her, so I didn't.  Natasha consoled her.  My heart was sad.  As I watched and re-watched the video trying to figure out what went so terribly wrong, I finally realized that she had missed key elements - or skills - in the routine.  She just pretty much didn't do a bunch of skills and was all messed up.  Emmy and her nerves.  Obviously she wasn't happier after beam.

Then on to floor.  Floor is pretty harmless as this level.  Emmy did a pretty solid routine - perhaps a few legs-not-together and a few bent-legs (including her back walk-over, which I've never seen her with bent legs before!), but it was good none the less!  Her score was less than I thought and hoped - as well as Emmy, I'm sure.  She got an 8.15.

Vault was last.  I don't know why her vault isn't stronger.  She had a fabulous vault in level 3 that should have transitioned in to a great (or at least good) vault.  She was scared of the vault for quite some time and then finally got over that.  So she'll do the front hand-spring, just with bad form.  I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just bummed that her vault isn't where it should be.  And I'm not just blaming Emmy . . . I think some better coaching should be happening.  Coach Kirk is great in many ways, but I also think he's missing some things.  Our gym girls do not compare to all the other teams that were there.

Anyways, I love Emmy and told her she's way better than her scores reflected today.

Poor girl didn't have a real smile until about 4 hours after the meet.  Sniff, sniff.

 BEFORE Emmy - all smiling and happy for her turn to compete.

 AFTER EMMY - She didn't want to come up and get her "bronze" medal - but she put on a fake smile for it anyhow.  Remember, everyone got a medal.

The level 4 team - Jhoselin, Natasha, Emmy, and Coach Kirk.  Again, a fake smile.  She was tearing-up again right before this.

Her routines on video:

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Miles' Mountain Biking Pics

There's Miles and his mountain bike team.  Miles apparently didn't get the message to sit up . . . :)  So now he's even shorter-looking than usual!  But he still looks great, as well as the rest of his team.  The team has won 1st place in all three races they have been a part of.  As they have all been on Sundays, Miles hasn't competed in a race.  But he will this weekend - if the weather will hold up!  Which is not looking so good at this point.  But (my third "But") Miles has really enjoyed mountain biking and has learned some skills as well.  Win-win!

Monday, October 01, 2018

September's last Shenanigans

 What was up on the Calendar . . .

 We hosted book-club this month.  The girls read - or semi-read - The Diary of a Girl: Anne Frank.  It was good, of course, but would have been a better fit, I think, if the girls were a bit older.  We made diaries at our meeting - fun, fun!

The boys worked hard on the puzzles they bought at Swiss Days.  This was Jonas'.

And Miles'.  Both are very cool!  

 Here's Emmy going babysitting . . . so nice that it's just a few houses down from us!  It's a great starter-job!  :)  (Oh, Erin, she loves the leggings!  And Lucy loves the bracelet!  We forgot to thank you for them!!!)

Oh these two.  Too cute.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Random Pictures & Activities

 Bella . . . so cute and such a silly gal.  She likes to go under the couch . . . but then she gets stuck and can't come out.  :)

 Awwww . . . We went to Ben's parents' home the second weekend of September.  We were able to attend a wedding/sealing of Ben's cousin's step-daughter, and then their luncheon.  It was fun to see a lot of family that we don't see too often.  We enjoyed the rest of the weekend with Jim & Diana, as well as Joe and Britt and their awesome kids.  Sam was getting ready to leave for his mission to Brazil (he's there now!) and so we got to listen to his talk that Sunday.  Sam did a great job!  His sister, Emma, played a beautiful piece on the piano and so we were blessed to hear that as well.

 Miles was in the Homecoming Parade this past week.  He had dual roles in it.  First, he was part of his Project Unify class' float . . . it was a beach theme (the entire parade was) and so he rode his "beach cruiser" bike and handed out candy (no throwing allowed!).  He got quite separated from his float as he was passing out candy . . . :)  His mountain bike team was also in the parade and so Miles wore the team's jersey to represent his part in that.  It was fun seeing him.

 While the girls were at gymnastics on Saturday morning, Ben and I took the boys with us to the RAT - Ridgway Area Trails.  Miles took us on a loop he did once with his team and it was super fun.

 Miles has definitely improved his mountain-biking skills!  I couldn't keep up with him - neither going up nor going down.  Go Miles!

 Jonas likes the RAT - especially going down the trail Ratical.  It's a super-fun ride!

I meant to get Ben in at least one photo . . . but forgot.  :)

Friday, September 21, 2018

Sherm, Breck, and a Bunch of Gals

So a friend of mine (Heather) asked who wanted to run the Breckenridge 10K.  Breck is a pretty cool place and so I signed up!  (Not really realizing it was four hours away . . . oh well.)  Then, Heather asked if we wanted to do a 14er (Colorado has a lot of mountains over 14,000 ft.) the day before.  It's not something I would have thought of, but it's totally Heather.  She's crazy 'n cool like that!

So four of us (myself, Heather, Sherri, and Kandace) left Montrose on Thursday evening and drove to Breck.  On Friday we woke up by 5:30 and headed out to hike Mt. Sherman.  The day was picture-perfect without a cloud in the sky.  The hike was difficult, as I think all 14ers are, but not too bad.  I actually felt pretty great hiking and summitting.  I think it was the easiest 14er I've done (I have only done 3).  Usually 14ers are really, really windy - but it was actually not windy at all.  And it was hot up there!  It was crazy - but really nice.  We sat up there for a while and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.  It was an excellent hike!

 This was at the beginning (close to) of the hike.

 This shows: 1. My snot right below my nose and 2. The final ascent to the top of Mt. Sherman!

 Yay, at the top!

 Of course pictures don't do it justice.  It was a pretty awesome sight, though!

 The four of us:  me, Kandace, Sherri, and Heather!  Sherri and Heather have done oodles of 14ers, but not this particular one.  I think this might have been Kandace's 3rd one as well?

As we were driving back from our trek, we were on the look-out for moose - and we found one!  So cool!

Friday evening three more of our friends showed up at our condo:  Chris, Nichole, and Brittany.  We had a fun night of eating yummy homemade soup and bread and salad - as well as playing some fun card games.  These gals are a fun group to be around!

Saturday we got up and ready for our run.  I felt a little sore from the hike the day before, but nothing too bad.  There were a few hiccups at the race (not enough shuttles nor porta-potties, etc.), but that's okay.  The race also started a little later . . . about 8:30.  We ran down a canyon road for about 4.5 miles and then we were in Breck.  Those first miles were really steep and I had a good pace (although I would have liked it not quite so steep).  I was pretty much running 8:37 miles - with one time even getting down to 8:07.  That's like really fast for me - when I run around town, I'm usually at a nice 10 minute/mile pace.  :)  But by around mile 5 the path had flattened out with a few bumps/hills, too.  It was the hardest mile I have ever run!  I felt like I had hit "the wall" as people say - but usually when they are running a marathon or another long race.  (I ran a marathon way back when and I never felt like I had hit the wall!)  Anyways, it was an awful mile - I wanted to walk, but didn't.  I think my pace went up to about 11-minutes.  (I actually thought it was more around 12, but then I did the math and that sounds more correct.  But it felt like a 20-minute mile pace!!)

So it was good to finish and it was still a "fun" race!  :)
The fall colors were amazing!  This is the road we ran down and it really was beautiful!

 Free race photos - wow!

I'm not sure how I pulled off a double-thumbs up - this was during that awful last-mile stretch!

 Yay, all done with that awful last mile!  :)  My finish time was 53:18.  I was 13th overall out of 76 and the 7th female out of I don't know how many.  I was 3rd in my age-group - out of 21.

After the race we showered, packed up, and headed back home.  This picture shows some of the amazingness we saw on our drive! We stopped in Buena Vista for lunch and then made it home by 5.  It was a fun and perfect little get-away!

I did get a call from Lucy on Friday night . . . I guess she had been crying for me.  At least one of my kids missed me!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

An Update!

Okay, time for a lengthy update . . .  Starting from youngest to oldest:

Bella - She's crazy.  She's total pug.  She just does what she wants and is quite silly.  She's adorable.  She's potty-trained - at least we think so!  We haven't had any accidents in a few weeks so we're hoping we are done with that.  We got a bunch of dog chew-toys from our neighbor; Bella's favorite ones are the lion (with its shaggy mane) and the skunk (with its shaggy tail).  I think the shaggy ones remind her of her VERY favorite chew-toy:  Brigham!  She still doesn't get free-reign of the upstairs and so we are back to that annoying phase of having baby-gates everywhere.  Really, we have one baby-gate for the back up-stairs, a long piece of plywood to block of the back down-stairs, and the girls' gym mat to secure the front up-stairs.  It stinks.  But Bella's worth it.

Brigham - He puts up with Bella and all her shenanigans.  I think he likes her - 95% of the time.  The other 5% he is just annoyed by her ("Will you please stop gnawing on my ears?!").  He loves going biking with whoever takes him and loves chasing after the bunnies and the birdies.  He still is my favorite running-partner.  He still is pretty much the best dog ever.

Lucy - She is now a second-grader in Mrs. Lopez's class.  She loves school.  She is building this "pizza airplane drop-off" something or other during the class' STEM time - she tells me about it all of the time.  I went in to her classroom on Tuesday and got to see it.  It's made from all recycled material.  Her class seems good and she's happy with her classmates.  She will begin competing this year in gymnastics and is very, very nervous about that.  She still has a few skills she needs to master on the bar, but overall she is doing great.  She is now in official piano lessons.  Her teacher was the librarian at Northside for like 30 years, but retired right before Lucy began school.  So now Lucy gets to have Mrs. Creasey.  So far, she's loving her teacher and piano!

Emmy - She just started her final year at Northside, sniff, sniff.  She has Mrs. Metheny and we are both thrilled with that.  Emmy likes her class and hopefully will have way less drama this year as one specific girl is not in Emmy's class again.  But there's already been a bit of drama with some other girls - not much, just a bit.  Emmy will be competing level 4 this year.  She is still struggling with her kip, but she's pretty solid on everything else.  Her floor routine looks lovely.  She just had her first babysitting job last night - our neighbors and one of Lucy's best-friends, Genevieve.  G (her spelling-nickname) has a little brother Edwin.  They live just about 1/2 a block from us and so we figured it's a good start to independently babysitting.  She's trying to get a little group of kids to babysit one Friday a month at our home, so we'll see how that goes.  She wants to earn money to go to BYU's week-long stay-in-the-dorms gymnastics camp next summer.  Awesome.

Jonas - He is in 7th grade and seems to like it okay.  I mean he's happy, but also told me that some of the classes are boring.  Which I believe!  Hopefully classes will get better as they finish up all the testing they have to do.  He is in Jazz band and they have before-school practices four days a week.  So he leaves a little before 7am to be there for that.  He likes band, I think!  But I think he's most excited about the days he'll get to miss school for band competitions, etc.  :)  He is doing STUCO again (student council).  He tried to be the vice-president, but was out-voted by the female majority for female leaders.  But whatever.  He can try again next year.  He attends the weekly after-school meetings, helps out with concessions at the sporting events, and will be involved with the other student-activities that happen throughout the year.

Miles - He is a 9th grader!  Freshman!  He goes to seminary each morning - leaving by 6:30 am to get to the church, via his bike, by 6:45.  He seems to be enjoying it so far!  He then comes home and spends 3-4 hours doing his BYU online courses.  He is taking geometry, world geography, and english (reading/writing).  Oh, he also is taking a required "student development" course that introduces the students to online learning.  He seems to like it and understand the concepts he is being taught.  He took a geometry quiz from the first unit and got a 93% and so that's pretty good.  He then takes a lunch break and reads a lot.  Too much almost!  He's read about 8-9 books (big books), from one series, in the past 2 weeks.  He goes to the high school every afternoon (2:05 class M, T, Th, F and 1:15 class on W) for either art or Project Unify.  He enjoys both classes.  He is doing the high school's mountain biking team and they have practices every Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5-7.  He likes that, too!  Unfortunately the races are on Sundays and so we haven't been able to be a part of that.  Which, in some ways, have made Ben and I feel like non team-players.  But whatever.  Have some Saturday races for crying out loud!  :)  Actually, there is one race this season on a Saturday and so we'll see if Miles is interested in doing it.  Miles' pet rat died.  Nobody was too traumatized by it.  I think Lucy was probably saddest of us all.  I think Miles was bummed, but also knew that the rat didn't get the best care.  We'll see how long Jonas' lone-rat will last . . .

Me - I'm just doing what I do.  Working a tiny bit.  Exercising (mtn. biking, running, road biking, and swimming).  I like having a mix!  It's not bad having Miles home during the day.  I do try to not be upstairs too much (Miles' desk is at the top of our stairs).  Some mornings I'm running errands, at the school, grocery shopping, or sleeping if I've worked the night before.  Other mornings I'm working on the computer doing our banking, looking up stuff for activity days, etc.  So it seems to work out just fine.  I'm heading out today on a racing trip with other women.  We are going to Breckenridge for a 10K run on Saturday.  My third weekend away from home!  If I had realized that, or had thought about how far away Breck is (4 hours!), I probably wouldn't have signed up.  :)  So I guess it's good I didn't think.  It should be a fun trip.  We are hiking a 14er tomorrow!  I've realized those are hard on me and am not too stellar at them!  So we'll see how I do. 

Ben - He is really wanting some change in his work, but is not sure what that really means.  In some ways, he's bored with just circulating cases at the surgical center.  He loves it when he gets to first-assist, but that doesn't happen enough.  This year it has happened way-less than in the previous 3-4 years that he's been doing the first-assist thing.  He looked in the hospital as they were hiring a RNFA (registered nurse first assist).  However, it's good he didn't do it as, as he has observed when he works at the hospital on Mondays assisting, he probably would be doing more circulating and less first-assisting.  No reason to leave the surgery center for the same job at the hospital.  But he might try and take some call-time at the hospital - a couple nights during the week and maybe a weekend a month.  We'll see.  He is doing some advancement to become a Certified RNFA (I think that's what it's called).  He's ordered lots of books and now needs to figure out when he has time to study!  He's a busy man and will be excited when the boys are done mowing for the season.  :)  That will free up some time.  (Oh yeah, the boys have mowed a good deal this summer and have made some great money.  They are lucky to have a great dad help them out, too!)

Anyways, I'm running out of time and people/pets to update, so that's a wrap!

Friday, September 07, 2018

Swiss Days . . . Again!

Since Ben loves Swiss Days so much, I told him to get the Friday off so we could be there for more time.  We didn't realize at that time that the girls' school was starting so late, but whatever.  The girls had their first day on Thursday, then we headed out that night (after gymnastics and mountain biking, of course - getting a late 7pm start to our drive).

Once again, Swiss Days did not disappoint.  It's just fun.  And, of course, it's always great to hang out with my parents at their home.  Plus, a bonus:  the Sabeys (Christian, Erin, and their kids) came over for dinner on Sunday.  Awesome.

We checked out the vendors on Friday morning, then came back home for lunch - and then headed to Timpanagos Cave for a tour.  Ben worked there for a couple of years during his BYU days, but hadn't been back since.  Our kids had never been either.  I think the last time I went was at my 4th-grade field trip (like, uh, 30 years ago!).
 Here we are at the beginning of the trail.  Lucy bought some binoculars at the store there.  She loves them.

 Lucy + Grandpa's hat = adorable!

 On the trail.  It's an up-and-up hike for sure!  But luckily we had some shade and so it wasn't too bad at all.

 At the entrance!

Same picture, except for Lucy looking through her binoculars.  :)

 Ben recognized a few people from his days working there - 20 years ago!  He visited a lot (especially when we were finished) with our young tour-guide as they knew many of the same people - including the boss man, who fell off the trail on his dirt bike a few years ago and died.  :(

We all enjoyed the outing!

Saturday morning we went to the parade - it's a legit parade (as opposed to those that happen in Montrose) and always fun and always provides lots of gross candy for the kids.

 Here we are hanging out on Grandpa's toy watching the parade.  Fun for sure!

 Jonas got to try out this electric, or somehow motorized, bike - he loved, loved, loved it.

 Jonas and Emmy had fun racing on this inflatable toy.

 Jonas and Miles had fun, too!

We enjoyed more time at Swiss Days checking out more booths and such.  The kids went swimming that afternoon.  After dinner Jonas wanted to go back and buy a puzzle (like Miles . . . ) and so Ben, myself, and our two boys went.  It's definitely the time to go - last evening, it's nice and cool, way less crowded, and the sellers are cutting their prices!  It was fun and the boys were able to nab two Dowdle puzzles for the price of one.  :)

We watched the BYU football game that night and shockingly they won!

Sunday was church and then for dinner the Sabeys came over.  My mom prepared an awesome dinner for everyone (I put the "labor" in Labor Day weekend for my mom - ha.).

 We all love the Sabey's kids and their newest one, Sunny, is no exception!

Jonas, Vance, Minne, Sunny, Lucy, Emmy, Hope, and Miles.  What a great group!

On Monday the boys went and helped clean up some of the Swiss Days stuff.  Then we packed our car and headed down to Provo.  We weren't the only ones who thought of hiking the "Y" . . . about a billion cars were there, too!  The trail didn't seem too crowded, though.  The hike is a good climb - and it was a little warm in the high-noon sun, but it wasn't too bad nor too long.  We hiked back down and headed to the Creamery for some Ice Cream (duh).  I saw several other groups at the Creamery that I had seen on the trail to the "Y."  :)

 One of the viewpoints along the hike.  Miles took off after this point and we didn't see him until we reached the "Y."  That kid is a fast hiker!  I used to be in my young days . . .

 At the "Y"!

 Emmy's "new" sunglasses she found along the trail.  She saw them on the way up, they were still there on the way down, so she took them.  Sort of legit, right?!

 The "Y" from down below - not a great shot, but whatever!

Then we just drove back home!  Another great trip!