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Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer Update

Well I don't have any specific to say really - and no pictures (what?!) - but I thought I would give a little update.  This week was our boys' last week of the Summer Adventure Program.  Remember, they went to it M-Th from 1-4.  It was perfectly perfect.  I loved it; the boys loved it.  Every week was a different theme, with crafts, fun snacks, adventures, and the such to go along.  It was the perfect little summer "camp."  There is a session 2, but we opted not to do it.  I'm sure in some ways I'll regret that decision, but this will give us more free time in the afternoons. . . to drive us all crazy.

The very last day of the program was at the swimming pool.  Ugh.  You know (or you might not know?) how much I hate kids and water.  Or, more specifically, my kids and water.  None of my kids can swim and I am pretty scared of drowning. . .ugh.  But I knew my boys so wanted to go.  But I also knew that there was no way that the leaders would be able to watch everyone at all times.  And I felt uncomfortable with that with my non-swimmers.  So we were able to make arrangements for me to go with them and for a babysitter to be here with the girls.  The boys loved every second of it.  I did enjoy it - but 3 hours was pretty long for me.  I'm not a water-girl, that's for sure.  But it was fun - even cold (when those clouds would come over. . . brrrrr. . . ).  Jonas had several "warming breaks" - that kid has no fat!  They boys loved going down the big slide at the inside pool - that was definitely fun.  They also loved getting sugar-cereal for snack - fruit loops, apple jacks, and pops.  They would go back and back and back for more and more handfuls.  Cute.

Ben and I and Inc. were going to go to my parents' home (they, of course, aren't there. . .) this weekend.  It was going to have to be short - driving Friday night and heading back Sunday morning.  But my dad had gotten has some fabulous seats to the outdoor theater in Midway for a performance of Fiddler on the Roof. After much debate we decided to cancel our trip.  It was a hard choice - especially because my parents had done so much to help - but a good one for us.  I'm glad I'm not packing up right now, really.  We haven't had a weekend with "nothing on the books" for a really long time.  And we have many projects, one in particular (paving around our house, etc.), that just needs more time than we've been able to give.  So kind of a bummer, but luckily my parents have been parents of young children before (what!?) and were totally understanding.  So hopefully we can finish up our "curb appeal" project soon and show some pics.  Ben does great work in my opinion.

It's hot here.  Too hot for June.  We can't water enough to keep our grass green.  We are officially in a severe drought.  I can't wait for a rainy day - we need it, Utah needs it.

The kids, minus Lucy, will start private and semi-private swim lessons next week.  Miles will be 1-on-1 and Jonas and Emmy will be together.  I hope it goes well and they actually learn some skills!  Please, please, please.

We keep ourselves pretty busy during the week with Emmy's gymnastics, riding bikes to story-time at the library, Tuesday and Thursday outings with our good friend Csilla and her two boys, etc., etc.  We are busier than I think we have ever been.

And that's enough for now.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Slacker Weekend

So a few weeks ago I signed up for the Slacker 1/2 marathon.  After doing my race in May, I was inspired to do more.  I'd been doing longish run on Saturday mornings and so I thought I'd be able to do the half in just a few weeks.  The Slacker was over 4 hours away - a little long.  Most of the hotels were booked, but I was able to find a place that had 2 rooms - one with a door.  That sold me.  It was about 10 miles from the run, but that wasn't a big deal.

We got there Friday evening.  It was sort of a ghetto of a hotel (motel?).  It had no AC and reeked of smoke, but it had the two rooms and so that was good.

Apparently we are the type of parents that let our kids run amok and do things they are not allowed to do at our home.  Like jump on the beds:

 So fun.

 Whee!

 I love this shot of Emmy!

We went out to the ever-popular restaurant, Beau Jo's Pizza.  Ben had gone their a bunch of times as a youth and we had actually gone once when Miles was a teeny tiny baby.  Since it was in the town where we were staying, we thought it would be a fun place to go.
 The kids drinking root beer.  A little spicy for Emmy.  :)  Jonas drank about 1/2 of his and then apparently was too full to eat much of his dinner.  Nice.  Not.

 Of course Lucy had to join in the root beer fun.

 Miles' dinner:  spaghetti and meatballs in a bread bowl.  He ate at least 95% of it - including the bowl.  He is an impressive eater!

We strolled through the town after dinner:
 Two cute brothers (And, no, I didn't make them wear matching shirts.  They chose them on their own.)

And two cute sisters (I did pick out what they wore, but I didn't realize they matched.)

After we had gone and gotten my race bib and shirt, we headed back to our room.  The kids got to watch some movie I'd rented from the library and then it was bed-time.  After separating them from all being on the bed, they finally fell asleep.

Saturday morning was a first for the kids:  Saturday morning cartoons!
So exciting.

Then we headed up to my race starting point.  It was a little cool there (but hardly, really).
So the kids tried to get warm by doing some jumping-jacks.  Well all except Jonas.  He was pretty much Mr. Grump.

 Pre-race picture.

 And I'm off.  That first mile was my 2nd slowest mile because of the beginning crowd.  There were about 2,000 runners!

 While I was off and running the kids played at a park.  The town, Georgetown, had a delightful park that was tons of fun for the kids.  This is some crazy two-tiered tire-swing that you had to climb down in to.  Pretty cool.

 Lucy LOVES to hang.

 Alrighty, and here I am finishing up - with my fans cheering and running me on.  :)  It was fun to see them.  Especially since that last 1/2 mile was SO HARD.  Never had I wanted to walk in a race - except at mile 12.5 here.  My legs felt like lead.

 Here they are still running with me - what cuties.  Jonas is holding up his pants.  He needs to get a waist.

 And the post-race picture.  I felt okay here.  During the race I actually felt really great and had a really good finish for me.  My time was 2:01:03.  I wanted to finish under 2 hours because it was a "downhill" race and I thought maybe I could.  Well there was some definite climbs in this race that I didn't quite expect.  But I still felt good about my time - I even finished 379 out of about 1600 1/2 marathoners.

Well after this picture I pretty much started to decline in health!  Oh I felt bad.  I had to sit in the shade and when I did start walking around, I would have to stop and sit before I fainted.  I remembered being a little like this after my Moab 1/2.  Running in the hot sun is not good for me - I don't think I tolerate it very well.  I thought it would be a cooler run, but pretty much all of the 13.1 miles were in the hot sun.  Yuck.

I couldn't eat nor drink hardly anything - though my body needed it.  We walked back to the park and the kids played some more - while I sat in the car with the AC on.  I had started feeling less faint, but then I was just so nauseous and sick to my stomach.  I'm not sure if it was just a combo of the heat, the sun, the elevation (running at 10,000 feet), and the exertion that did this - or if I had some type of stomach ache unrelated to the race (since I'm still feeling not-so-great, but not-as-bad, today. . .)?  Who knows, but it sure soured my run and the day.  Boohoo.

We stopped at Grand Junction on the way home so the kids could enjoy the splash pad.  So fun for the kids.

 Miles standing on a fountain.  Emmy whacking the water.

 A wet and happy Jonas.

 Lucy wouldn't play in it.  Ben helped her a bit - but she only just barely touched the water a couple of times.  Silly girl!

We went across the street afterwards for some ice cream.  I had really only had a luna bar, a popsicle, and had choked down about 1/2 a cup of chocolate milk for the day and, though I still wasn't feeling grand, I did have some ice cream.  I had to choke it down a bit, too, but was starting to feel a little bit better.

So there was the weekend.  Pretty fun.  Pretty great race.  Pretty lame post-race.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Real Camp-out

Well, we did it.  We took the whole family camping - and not just to our backyard.  To the forest.  The first camp-out of the season is a little scary because we just don't know quite what to expect from our kids - particularly Lucy and her sleeping.  But I'll get to that later.  This will be a long post - most likely wordy and definitely lots of pictures:

 First things first:  set up the tent.  Then play in it!  Wahoo.

 We bought a bow-and-arrow set - we thought it would be a fun activity for everyone.  Ben got the first shot.  My own Robin Hood.

 Jonas' first go at it - not bad, not bad at all.

 Miles' first shot - I love how the arrow got in the picture, too!

 Emmy loved trying it out - but she was a little too little to do it on her own.  That didn't stop her, though - she'd still do it with help from us.

 Jonas really, really loved it.  Here he is shooting at the target - and actually hitting it.  So cool.

 We camped at Woods Lake - about 25 miles from the town of Telluride.  We camped at this site so we could go fishing and such on Friday.  Well. . . the lake had been "shocked" or something and then restocked.  All the fish were itty-bitty still and so there was no fishing on the lake yet.  Bummer.  We were told to go down the road and try the river.  It was way too hard to manage 4 kids by the river - particularly Lucy.  So it didn't last long, nor were any fish caught.

 Miles was bummed he couldn't stay longer.  Sorry bud.

 Of course we did s'mores.  I am usually not a s'more fan since I don't love marshmallows, but I loved them this time.  We had pink marshmallows and I heated my graham cracker and chocolate over the fire (on a grill-thingy) so the chocolate was all melty; it made for a wonderfully delicious s'more.  Emmy liked to eat hers, too.

 Lucy sleeping. . . however it didn't last long.  I put her down at 7:30 - she went down without a peep.  WAHOO, I thought.  I was worried how she would do.  I was still worry about what would happen when the rest of us came to bed. . .but at that moment I was pretty happy.  Then at 8:15 Emmy begged us to let her go to the tent and go to bed.  Really?  We told her she wasn't going to be able to come in and out - if she went in now she was there to stay.  Seriously, she begged.  WAHOO, I thought again.  This will make it easier for when the rest of us come to bed later on.  Maybe 20 minutes later Emmy peeps out and wants to come out.  But, no, a deal was a deal and she couldn't.  She handled it surprisingly well.

Well about 20 minutes later we hear Lucy crying.  We don't think Emmy did anything. . . but who knows?  As Ben and I were trying to figure out what we should do (Do we go and hold her?  Do we let her cry it out for a few minutes???), Emmy started singing to her.  Cute, silly, made-up songs.  Emmy kept this singing up for 10-15 minutes.  Lucy had totally quieted down and was listening.  It was pretty much the cutest darn thing you ever heard from two sisters.  That Emmy can be truly amazing.  Well after all the singing, the girls got goofy.  I had no idea what exactly was going on, but there was lots of laughing.  It was adorable to listen to - and we didn't want to wreck their fun.

We had wanted to keep the boys up to show them the stars.  But they were getting scared. . . and were begging to go to bed.  We kept putting them off until I just finally gave in, said we might as well all go in the tent for a bit (since everyone was awake), then come back out in 20 or so minutes to check out the stars.  So we all got PJs on and went to the tent.  Much to Emmy's and Lucy's delight I am sure.  And Lucy provided the entertainment - we just all sat in our sleeping bags watching her and playing the "hug me" game. It went something like this, "If you hug me (one of the kids) then I'll sing you a song."  Although Miles' wasn't to sing a song, it was to recite a poem.  And recite he did.  And hug 'n hug 'n hug Lucy did.  Totally cute.  We went to check out the stars, but the boys were pretty scared.  So it didn't last too long.  We got back in the tent and had strict orders of "Silence!"  Poor little Lucy cried - "Daddy hold you me," (meaning, Daddy hold me), also she cried, "I can't see" (after hearing Miles say that once).  "I can't see" almost made me burst out laughing it was just so sweet and cute.  She finally fell quiet and then must have fallen asleep.  She slept well and soundly until about 6:15 - I then picked her up and held her (she was so cuddly and still sleepy!) until everyone else got up - around 7.  7!  A record for our family for camping.  It was definitely due to the late-night partying that was happening in our tent.

 Miles, the next morning.  He was so much dirtier than what the camera picked up!

 We had to wait a little while for breakfast.  It was only oatmeal. . . but the fire took a while to get going and boil our water. . . Lucy was at the table shouting out, "Dinner-time!"  It was Awesome.

 Emmy had fun in the morning playing with her fire-stick.  I told her I wanted to take her picture and she struck a pose.  Love it!

 Two cute brothers enjoying their morning oatmeal around the campfire.

 Ben wanted ash-cakes and so each kid (and parent) made one after breakfast.  Ben, me, Miles, and Lucy loved them!  Yum.  Lucy's enjoying her ash-cake here and Jonas is just. . . adorable.

 There was this little stream about 30 or so feet from our tent.  Lucy had had fun the day before wading in the water and so we thought she'd like to do it at the stream.  Looks fun, right?!

 Nooooo, it was waaaaaay too cold!  What a great face!
The kids all came up here with me and we used our water-filter and filled up our water-bottles.  It was pretty great drinking cool, mountain spring water - for free.

 Our next big adventure (after breaking down camp. . .) was to go hiking.  One of the boys' merit badge requirements is to go on two 5-miles hikes.  We had found a 5-mile hike right out of Telluride and thought that would be perfect.  And it was a perfect hike for our family!  Everyone did really great and it was so beautiful!
 Cute Ben, Lucy, and her Boo.

 Here we are with Bear Creek Falls behind us.

 Yay for our little hikers!

 This is just a random shot, but I so love it.  We were eating our lunch and Jonas was so pouting about having to eat a little more of his sandwich. . . so I decided I would take a picture of the Pouting Jonas.  Jonas decided to try and run away from my camera. ..  Totally cute (both Jonas and Ben).

 Miles sadly left all of his collected rocks from the day before at our campsite (it would have added about 50 minutes to go back and get them and we weren't doing that).  Luckily he found some pretty great ones here, too.  Jonas liked launching wood (i.e, "boats) and watching them travel down the river.

 Emmy was so funny on the way back!  She just trekked on far ahead of us for a little bit.  She did so super on this hike and I only carried her once - for probably a minute or less.  I was super proud of her.

We finally got back to town and there is this little park - I think it's made for 2 year-olds.  It's perfect for Lucy.  She loved being out of the backpack and had fun playing for a bit.  There was a little "kid's fishing pond" right next to this park and the boys really wanted to fish.  So we got their poles and within pretty much a minute of each kid getting their line in the pond, a fish was caught!  Yay for stocked ponds!  Emmy was so excited - I wish I had gotten a picture.  Anyways, we now have 3 fish for Ben to make in to Fish Pie - Miles' favorite food, he claims.

So there it is, our first camp-out.  It started out with a lot of cranky kids (I didn't mention that, but they sure were. . .) but ended pretty sweetly.

Sunday Cuties

Love them!

P.S.  A big Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful father's in my life:  my very own dad, my father-in-law, and the father of my children.  I love them all.  I am so lucky and blessed to have such great fathers in my life - and in my children's lives.  Sometimes I feel like we overdo the issue of motherhood while underdoing (if you will) the issue of fatherhood.  Both are vital.  Both are hard.  Both are rewarding.  Yay for fathers.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

When the boys are away. . .

While the boys go to their "adventure camp" from 1-4 each day (except for Fridays), Emmy likes to dance:

video
video


Today the boys got to go on our "field trip," bus and all.  They always get "lucky" snacks like chips, kool-aid, s'mores (baked in a homemade foil-oven), edible dirt (crushed oreo, chocolate pudding, and gummy worm), etc.  So I treated the girls to a "lucky" snack today:
Yay for summer!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

First camp-out of the season. . . in the backyard

The boys tried a camp-out in the backyard last year but got thundered/rained out.  So we decided to give it a go again.  I didn't sleep out - since Lucy was inside asleep. . . and it's more comfortable on a bed. . .  But I was out for most of the evening with everyone and then came back out and saw some of the stars finally make their appearance - though I had just missed a shooting star (which was definitely neat for the kids to see).  They had a good time and, of course, want to do it pretty much every night.

To go along with our camping-theme I even made a dutch-oven dinner - all.  by.  myself.  I don't really know what I was thinking when I told Ben I could do it.  I mean, I don't think I've really ever started a fire on my own - like a sustaining fire.  But Ben was gone for the entire day (10 hours - blech) and didn't get home until after 6 and so it was up to me.  It took me around 45 minutes to finally get the coals to turn gray.  I made sloppy joes and it was pretty great.  Jonas downed his in about 4 bites.  :)

Anyways, here is a fun video of Jonas, the scary storyteller:
video
Fun times!

Friday, June 08, 2012

Summer Happenings

Well we've all survived our first couple weeks of summer.  I think it's been pretty darn good so far.  But the temperature is rising and I just don't think that's a good thing. . . Anyways, this is just a little update of what we are up to.

So every morning - Monday through Friday - the kids work on some worksheets.  We bought these worksheet books at Sam's Club and I'm so loving them.  I wanted to have something for the kids and thought I would have to find and print up sheets every night.  But now I just rip out some pages, staple them together, and then the kids work on their packets.  They actually like them.  But we'll see what they think of them in a few more weeks.  They spend like 20+ minutes on them.  It's pretty amazing.

We created Summer Merit Badges for this year.  I was worried we weren't going to be able to work on anything because we have just been so busy with other stuff so far.  But the summer is young and so we'll see what happens.  The boys are involved in our rec district's "Summer Adventure Day Camp" for kids 6-10.  They are both really enjoying it - even the at-first reluctant Jonas.  They go Monday - Thursday from 1-4, all of the month of June.  Each week is a different theme:  Sports week, Nature, Mystery/Spy, and Water.  So far they have played dodgeball, kickball, lacrosse, basketball, water-balloon tag, etc., as well as have made crafts, and get to eat sugary snacks each day.  Sounds pretty grand to me.  Jonas said some boys were mean to him the first day, but has since made some friends and wants to style his hair like theirs - bangs spiked up, is what he tells me.  We'll see about that. . .

Anyways, back to the merit badges.  So this morning we had nothing going on (!) and so I thought we should work on one.  We decided to go to the HS track and work on our Health and Exercise badge.  One of the requirements is for the kids to run 1 mile (Emmy), 1.5 miles (Jonas), or 2 miles (Miles) three different times.  When I say run, I meant run/walk.  For Jonas that will mean just walk.  So I encouraged the kids to have a "warm-up" walk their first lap and then whatever after that.  I told Miles I thought he could walk/run/walk/run it.  So Miles started and walked his first lap, ran his next 2 laps, walked his 4th lap, and then ran his 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th lap.  He rocked!  I was so happy about it - and, yes, surprised.  Miles is not athletic per se, but he is very task-oriented and driven when he wants to be.  He ended up doing 3 miles - running 2 1/2 of them.

Jonas pretty much walked all of his laps - a little grudgingly, too.  He's not a runner and cannot push himself.  I could hardly push him to walk at a fast pace.  But he did his 6 laps and I was proud of him, too.  Emmy was sure fun to watch - she can have some fast running-spurts.  So cute!  She ended up doing 5 laps just because I wasn't there on her 4th and so I think she thought she had to go again.  But she didn't complain once.  In fact, she finished her 5th lap before Jonas had done 5 laps. . . :)

Lucy played around.  When Emmy finished that freed me up a little more and I was able to run laps with Miles.  He told me a few times, "I like running with you."  Awwww. . .  And I walked a couple with Jonas, too.  It was a fun morning.

We have been having lots of smoothie-pops, as I'll call them.  I'll sometimes make a smoothie for the kids' lunch and then save the leftovers as popsicles.  What a delicious snack.  Ben and I had actually made this smoothie last Saturday and I had made the leftovers into popsicles.  It was the perfect treat for their post-run/walk.

Anyways, that's more than I thought I'd write.  So I better just end it.  Of course I'll add some pictures, though:

 Busy at work. . .

 Jonas, the short-haired boy.  And big eyes.  And adorable.

 Lucy is just too cute, I can't help myself. . .

 Lucy does her "work" in the mornings, too.  What talent - coloring with 2 crayons in one hand!

Miles enjoying his very much earned popsicle.  :)  What a boy!