Sunday, September 28, 2008

The thoroughly AMAZING race!

This weekend was our Amazing Race - which we dubbed, "The Thoroughly Amazing Race"! I have been wanting to do this for FOREVER! I talked to Cherice about it, and then we asked Jon and Donnarae if they would organize for us, and then we would organize one for their friends! Yesterday was our big race day. We teamed up in teams of 4 (basically 2 couples per team). We had 6 teams and 24 people! 12 people included us and friends we invited, and 12 people made up Kenny and Cherice and their friends(which pretty much all of them, I consider my friend too). Each team was given a color. We were teamed up with the Braithwaite's and were the blue team(we all decided to wear our BYU shirts, cause we already had them, and they were blue. Turned out backfiring a bit, cause we raced in downtown SLC on a home gameday for the U. We had lots of people cursing at us - literally.) Jon and Donnarae did an AMAZING job! I'm going to type out what we did, mainly for my journaling purposes, but I'm telling you, if you want to have the GREATEST days ever, you'll want to get some people together and plan one of these(I would LOVE to be invited, also!). Seriously, if there was anybody who played that didn't have a good time, it was their own faults!

We started off meeting at a park. There was MUCH trash talking going on! It was awesome. We were already having a blast, and it hadn't even started yet! When we told people the teams, and the colors, I put on the instructions that they could dress, or do whatever to unify their team. The outfits were great! Long socks, crazy sunglasses, spandex on a man, the works. It was awesome. Jon greeted us, and told us the rules, gave us clues and some money, and then said we would be starting the first task! He asked us if we had played sudoku. Very few people had played before. (which surprised me). He asked 2 of us to be writers, and the other 2 would help. Once we decided who the writers would be, he then told us that the writers would be blind-folded. Then the game was on! We ran up a huge hill. I was blindfolded, and Troy was guiding me. They had made HUGE sudoku puzzles on tarps. I got on my knees, and while Troy figured out the puzzle, he would put my hand somewhere and tell me to write. It was crazy. It was maddening not being able to see the puzzle - I did 4 of these particular puzzles on the airplane last week! We finally got it finished, and there were already 3 teams gone! AUGHH!!! We raced down the hill, and into the car.

The next clue told us that we would be going to the Alpine Slide. Steven read the clue, and we started heading up to Park City. Luckily, we asked Steven to re-read the clue, and realized we were to go to the Alpine Slide at SNOWBIRD not Park City! Good thing we read it when we did! We turned, and headed up to Snowbird - in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

We got up there, and saw all the teams that had been ahead of us. It was a great feeling to catch up and know you're not that far behind! We parked at the top of the Alpine Slide, had to run down for the tickets, then took the tram back up to the top. We went down, it was so fun - short, but fun. Then, we made Troy and Steven head up to get the car, while we went and got the next clue. We met them on the main road.

Our next clue took us to the downtown SLC Library Children's section which also told us that would be the last time we saw our cars during the race. It seemed we all got to the Library at once, TEARING through the library! It was so fun - racing to the stairs, while you see other teams all running at you also. I seriously, laughed the whole day. We got our clue, which made us find a book, and bring it back to a person. We did that, and the next clue sent us to the Devoreaux Mansion for our mandatory rest period aka lunch.

One team didn't follow the clue, and drove to lunch. They were penalized (after much debate - in the Amazing Race - unfair things happen, also, if you don't read the clue, or follow the clue, you should be penalized). My only sad part of the day was that anyone would be rude to my brother-in-law over a fun little race - when it was their fault that they didn't follow the clue. Whether it was spelled out well enough in their minds is besides the point, it was supposed to be for fun - definitely NOT a million dollars on the line, and Jon was not getting paid! He had spent tons of time, energy, and his whole Saturday on this. THANK YOU JON! Anyways, Jon didn't want to argue with the team anymore than he had, and gave them the clue without having to finish out their penalty.

Lunch was fun. We had to stay there for 20 minutes after we arrived there. After lunch, we headed to Liberty Park. It took forever to get there. We had to wait for Trax, and then it was quite the run/walk. We seriously, did so much running from the Library on! I was wearing jeans, and was sweating so bad! It felt like I was trying to run with an additional 30 lbs!

At Liberty Park, we had to do 2 tasks. Walk across a rope (more like a strap) that was tied between 2 trees, and then they gave us a photo of something in the park. We had to go find it, take a photo, and then go back to the guide to show them the pictures. We were all pretty much here at the same time. Except for the black team, who was about 15 minutes behind us at the pit stop, who took a taxi to Libery Park! Brilliant! They beat everyone to Liberty Park. There's definitely advantages to not being in a pack! Apparently they all rushed through the tight rope (not it's technical name, but I can't remember what it is). Jon and Donnarae told us later, that if they had made the other teams stick to the level of going over the rope as the black team, we would have been there for hours!

After those tasks were finished, we were to head to Gil Gal Gardens. Where is that you ask? Good question! Most people on the streets didn't know where that was! It's on 500 S. and 700 E for those of you who are interested in going! That was the final leg of the race. The black team won - by a bit! Then the red team and then US! THIRD! Wahoo! The prize was a garden gnome. (You know, the travelocity roaming gnome that frequents the Amazing Race?) It was such a fun day! Seriously, super fun! I would advise ANYONE to do this! Cherice and I are putting together Jon and Donnarae's Thoroughly Amazing Race in a few weeks. We will then be on the other side of it, to see how hard it is to put on. We want this to be an annual thing - with the gnome, literally roaming, year after year. I can't wait for Jon and Donnarae's! We have so many things up our sleeves! Here we are at the end!

I had my video camera on me for most of the race, but not my camera (point and shoot). I am waiting to get some before photos of the racers from Jon! At church today, everyone kept talking about how sore we were. It was great, and as an added bonus, burned calories! WAHOO!


Greatest Day...

Friday was a great day for me! I dropped the boys off to Grandpa, and off they went on their trip. I then took the girls to Gardner Village for lunch, and some photos. My mom joined us. It was such a fun girls day. We browsed a few shops. My mom bought Haley some squeeky shoes, that squeek everytime she takes a step. (You can remove the little squeeker - for church or whatever). For Haley, it was love at first site! She walked around, taking short little steps, hopping up and down, just to hear the squeeks. We were laughing, just watching her. I thought other people would think they were the most annoying things, but for the rest of the day, all we got were compliments about how cute she was, and how cute the shoes were. It was really funny! After Gardner Village, we hit the mall, for Kristin to ride the carousel - her reward for taking some pictures. I wanted to go to the Hello Kitty store, to see if I could find the cutest necklaces that a few of the girl models in AZ had worn(no luck - anybody know where I can find those?). As I was standing in Hello Kitty, I started smelling a few things. I remember when my grandma, took me and my cuz, Katie, to the mall when we were little, and we got to pick something from the Hello Kitty store. It still smells the same! It was very nostalgic. I was happy that I was having a fun day with my girls! We dropped my mom off, and headed home. Both girls fell asleep on the way home. Troy came home, we went to the grocery store to get stuff to make a salad (I copied one that I had at a yummy restaurant in AZ, BRAVI) It turned out good, thanks to Heidi. We watched the debate, and then I fell asleep on the couch watching a movie with Troy. It was such a fun day. I loved it...Here are a few photos I got of the girls...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Boys Only!

This weekend is our Amazing Race. Troy's dad is taking the boys, Kyle, Jake, and Daxton to Bear Lake by himself for the weekend. All the boys are SO excited that it's no girls. Doug is leaving on Friday afternoon, because he needs to get something recorded (guessing???) at the court house. Cherice and I were thinking, have you taken them to the grocery store? Are you SURE you want to take them to the court house? So, on the way home from FHE Sunday night, I told the boys, that if they're naughty in a court house, that judges can throw them in jail, etc...etc... Well, before bed, Jake told Troy that he didn't want to go to Bear Lake, Kyle chimed in with, "Yeah, it will be scary going to the court house".

Talking with Cherice the next day, Kenny had given Daxton the same talk. So, yesterday after school, Daxton told Kyle, "I think I'll just stay in the car with Grandma". Kyle broke the news that Grandma wasn't going...At least they're thinking about being good, right?

I think they will be perfect angels! (Depending on how long it takes.) If it takes too long, they may realize that nobody is going to throw them in jail!

Thanks Grandpa, for taking the boys on a boys weekend! I have to give them a countdown every morning! Good luck at the courthouse! )

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's time for a pedicure when...

I am sitting in the Phoenix airport. It's SO awesome they have free wireless internet. Sitting cross-legged holding my laptop, trying to get things done. I'm barefoot, easier to sit cross-legged that way. I'm listening to my ipod. Over my shoulder, I hear a little girl, 2 probably. She is commenting on everything around her, just like they do. She points out my TV in my lap. Then she notices my toes under the laptop. Then she tells her mom, in that cute little 2 year old, squeeky voice, "Mom, toes." Her mom is half listening, just agreeing, like we all do. Then I hear it..."Mom, toes. Her toes are icky." I just started laughing. I turned around, and told her, you are RIGHT! My toes are icky. Her mom realized what she said when I started talking to her and started apologizing...oh, no need! They are icky! She's just honest...anyone up for a pedi?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kyle-ism - something about a man in uniform...

Part 1
On Monday night, right after Kyle's first flag football practice, I ran to the grocery store. Kyle came with me. He had on his jersey, and cleats. As we were walking out of the store, two girls, roughly ages 7 and 9, looked at Kyle, and said to one another, "LOOK! He's so hot! AND he's a football player!"(7 and 9 year old girls aren't very nonchalant) I looked at Kyle with a smirk, and asked him what he thought about that? He said, "WHAT? You want me to wear this jersey to school tomorrow?" I just laughed. Although I did tease him about it for the rest of the night.

Part 2
Kyle's second practice was tonight, and Troy took him, and his friend, Thomas who were both wearing their football jerseys. They were chatting in the car on the way there, and this was the conversation Troy heard:

Kyle: Be careful. If you have to go to the grocery store, you better take your jersey off. Some girls told me I was hot. You wouldn't want that to happen.

Thomas: I wouldn't mind if the girls were attractive.

Kyle: Yeah, they were attractive.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Watch out Michael Phelps...

here I am, posting a blog in the front yard, sitting on my DI green chair in the driveway (trying to fit in with my white trash neighbors). Troy is playing volleyball, and then I get to go play in an hour. I can't wait. I LOVE volleyball. Really, the kids have been begging to ride their bikes, and I have been gone 90% of the day, so I get to relax in the chair, while they play in the circle. Unfortunately, I can't let my kids play out front without me around. At least I have a nice cushy green chair to hang out in. I'm seriously considering having it re-upholstered. Marinda, how much does your mom charge (seriously). I LOVE this green chair, because my feet reach the ground. It swivels, and it rocks. That is my criteria for a good chair. I may need to go see if I can find it's match. I've had numerous people SWEAR it was theirs at one time.

Anyways, I decided to do a mini-triathlon in November. I am quite excited, nervous, and nauseous, about it all at the same time. After I said I'd do it, I thought, remember how I felt at the top of the half? I seriously don't EVER want to feel that way again! Details of a mini-tri: 3 mile run, 10 mile bike ride, and 350 meters in a pool. I am driving the course on Saturday. It's in Provo. If anyone wants to join Cherice and I, you are definitely welcome! Google: telos tri and you will find details. It's on November 8.

So, last night, in order to prepare, I went to the pool with Annette(previous CHHS - Go Grizzlies - Swim coach), Cherice, and Lindsay. Annette taught us how to swim. We actually didn't even get to actual swimming. I didn't realize how many different steps there are to learning to swim the correct way. We all wore goggles and some of us swim caps. We joked that we needed a camera. We went back and forth doing different things. We started out finding our point of buoyancy and then learning to breathe. We were in the pool for over an hour, and didn't get to the actual swimming part. We are going back next Monday, and I'm excited to learn how to do it. I have a LOT more respect for Michael Phelps now. It has taught me that I need to pay for a REAL instructor to teach my own kids the correct way to swim. I took lessons for as long as I can remember, and I'm not doing it right. So, wish me luck. Oh, another thing I learned is that when you have goggles on, keep your eyes opened. I was so dizzy and lightheaded everytime I would finish a lap. On the way home, I thought I would die. I went to bed at 9 last night, and I'm still a bit dizzy tonight. Apparently you get vertigo if you close your eyes. It's just such a habit. I have NEVER worn goggles. I will really try harder next time to keep my eyes open. As for the race, I am worried about my foot not holding up. I am hoping if I can get my foot healthy, I can last 3 miles on it. Biking and swimming don't hurt it. So, crazy as it sounds, I am most worried about the running. The biking and swimming - while I'm sure will be challenging doing them right after each other - I am not worried about.

I feel like I've accomplished quite a bit this past year. This would be icing. It's on our anniversary. Pretty sure 11 years ago, I couldn't have done all this!

Interesting there a sport short people can excel at? Seriously? I have been thinking about this all day. Sure seems you have to be tall. I asked Kenny and Cherice. I told Kenny that I realize gymnastics is one, but it's not like I can say, "Troy, I'm headed out to do gymnastics tonight". Kenny offered that I could be a jockey. Once again, not something just a normal person could do. I realize that short people can do anything they set their mind to, but seriously, no advantage!

Well, gotta go gear up for volleyball. I can't wait...we've been on hiatus all summer.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The week at large...

Last week was a fun, busy week. Prepare for a long post. This is my kids last week off track. Jake was given an off-track packet to complete. We finally had to get around to getting it done! Here is Jake, hard at work. To answer Laura's question about Year Round School: I've had my kids in year round, and in traditional. I don't mind year round at all. Sometimes they miss holidays at school if they're off track, which really isn't a big deal. It's nice to have breaks during the year to do things, instead of just summer. My one HUGE irritation, is that we didn't find out what track our kids were going to be on for the next year, until the middle of June. So, we found out our kids were on C Track, which started July 27. SO, our kids got out on July 3, and started the next grade July 27. It's kinda hard to plan vacations/swimming lessons, etc. when you don't find out what track you're on until later. I wish they would put you on the same track for 2 years, so at least 1 summer you could plan accordingly, ahead of time.

Back to my week.

I froze corn. I don't know the "technical" term for this. I'm thinking, "put up corn"? Whatever, we shucked, blanched, and cut corn, put it in freezer bags, and we'll have good corn for the winter. YEA! Cherice and Heidi did this with me. Out of 9 dozen ears of corn, we each ended up getting 9 - 4 cup bags of corn. Not too shabby. Each of us paid $11.50 for this. It's SO YUMMY! Tip: We used a bundt pan (with the hole in the middle) to put the corn in, then we used an electric knife to cut the corn off the cob. It went so fast. It took us 1.5 hours to finish it from start to finish. I wish I would have taken pics of the kids shucking corn, but I was manning the pots inside the house. Next time. I would say this was totally worth it. Here is Cherice and Heidi, just finishing up the last few cobs...

On Friday, it was my friend's Bday. We got together at my house, and did lunch. I forgot that I had scheduled eye appointments for Troy and the kids (mine was the previous week). I asked Troy if he could leave work early and take the kids, so I didn't have to cancel my lunch. He agreed. I was so excited he was taking the kids. Just recently I had a breakdown (when I had all my cardiologist appts) about how hard it is to figure out where the kids are going, just so I could go to an appointment. Dad's make an appointment, and don't have to think twice. So, I was excited he was getting to "experience" 3 kids at the doctor. (I had Haley, so technically it wasn't AS difficult as normal.) The doctor dialated all of their eyes, and they came home like this: After an hour, their eyes were still crazy looking. All four of them are my blued eyed kids, so it was trippy to see black eyes. Here's a close-up of Kyle so you can see how they looked, crazy, huh?

Oh, I need to answer the rest of Laura's questions...
About Haley being potty trained...Kristin was potty trained before she was 2, my boys were all potty trained right after their 2nd Birthdays. I have definitely LUCKED out when it has come to potty training my kids. Once they start recognizing the poop part, (telling me they have to poop, before they do it in their diaper, I start. Haley is definitely getting to that point. I'm just waiting until my kids are in school, and I have less commotion here at home to deal with.

AND - I have always been hooked on Tigers Blood only, this summer I tried a bit of Blue Raspberry with it, and I'm hooked. You should try it...

Saturday, September 06, 2008

My favorite girls...

Here is the famous chair I got at the DI for a whopping $15.00. I got the girls up early this morning, and got them ready and stuck them in the car with the chair. We were at a location (just on the side of a back road - nothing spectacular) by 8:15 am. I had to play volleyball at 9am, and had a babyshower at 11am. I didn't have much time, and I was ITCHING to use this chair. I LOVE these girls. So easy going. I just had to paint their fingernails and toenails and promise them a doughnut when we were done, and they cooperated. I LOVE when my own kids cooperate. More can be seen on my photography blog.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Funny Stories

Jake. Is hilarious. He says the goofiest things. I honestly don't have any clue where he learns all of his one-liners. Example: Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner (hmmm....) Example: Today, Troy took all the kids to the eye doctor. Haley and I stayed home. Troy said Jake made the eye doctor laugh so hard, he had to stop what he was doing. Story: It was Kyle's turn, the doctor was shining the light in Kyle's eyes, Jake hollered from the back, "Don't go toward the light, Kyle". Seriously, where would he learn that?

The DI (Utah's version of Goodwill or Salvation Army). I have never taken my kids inside of a DI. We have dropped many an item off at the DI. Well, I went looking for a mat to paint for our Amazing Race, and decided DI was my best bet. As we walked in the store(it seriously, was like a scene in a movie) Kyle sighed, "WOW! It's just like a real store." Troy and I were giggling. I guess our kids are deprived, or something. Anyways, I was looking at these AWESOME chairs for photoshoots(stay tuned, trying it out tomorrow on my girls) and Kyle and Jake came running up to me and told me that they think they found the microphone we brought here. The whole rest of the time it was this huge scavenger hunt to try to find items we had donated. Troy and I laughed hysterically through the store. Kyle SWEARS that our old blanket was there, and (wallet in pocket) asked if he should buy it back. DUH! (I'm SURE it was NOT our old blanket)

Conversations while driving. After all of Jake's funny things he has said today, (he has been using the word 'shall' in the correct context...weird) Troy told him he should be a comedian. Troy told him what a comedian was, and Jake turned to Kyle, and in all seriousness, said, "Kyle, you know what I wanna be when I grow up? A Canadian." So, whether it be a comedian or a canadian, the boy has goals.

Kristin. She seriously blows me away with how smart she is. She turned 4 in May, writes her name, knows how to spell it, can count to at least 100, puts puzzles together almost better than me(okay, probably not a big deal) and so many other things. So, at the eye doctor today, It wasn't her turn, but the doctor would ask Jake what letter it was. Kristin would holler from the back of the room, "V!!!!" Troy had to explain to her it wasn't a contest and she would get a turn in a minute. Well, at least the doctor had a bit of fun this afternoon.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Things to look forward to...

I know, I know. I never just enjoy what's going on now. That's usually what irritates me most about myself. I'm always "waiting" for what's coming up next, instead of just enjoying what's happening in life now...but I just want to document what I am looking forward to - no matter how insignificant(in no particular order)...

1. The kids going back on track Sept. 9
2. Kristin starting preschool Sept. 9 (3 KIDS IN SCHOOL)
3. Repeat trip to AZ with Erin for advanced photography workshop...(Can't wait)
4. Jeans weather. Today's high was 67, so we got a taste of it today...kinda nice...
5. My 31st birthday
6. Decorating my house (not sure WHEN this will get done...maybe when I win the lottery that I never play)
7. David coming home
8. My 12th anniversary (seriously, has it been that long?)
9. The "Thoroughly Amazing Race" (Jon and Donnarae are putting on an Amazing Race for our friends. It is gonna be a blast. Can't wait!)
10. Haley being potty trained.

There's many more, but I'll leave it at that. I guess I will do a top 10 of the things I'm happy about now...
1. I bought new jewelry. I kinda like it. I've never gotten more compliments. Tip: wear jewelry
2. The kids are currently off track, and we're not on a strict schedule.
3. I am caught up editing photos!
4. My house is spotless. I love CHELSIE (niece, house-cleaner extraordinaire!)! Today, my kids called her their maid. We are going to have a SERIOUS talk about that. In my opinion, I am hiring her to help me, not them. They still have their own chores. And, MAID? come on...
5. It was Troy's first normal "official" holiday off of work. I forgot to announce, but in 15 weeks, Troy took a trigonometry class, a chemistry class, and a calculus class. He got B+ in everything. That is GREAT! He hasn't been in school for 10 years! He took the summer condensed classes, which are so much harder! I'm so proud of him. He is officially a salaried employee now with title of Engineer.
6. Today, at Chick-fil-a it was free chicken tender day if you wore a football logo. Good thing our WHOLE family has BYU gear. LOVE free lunch - especially somewhere good.
7. First BYU game of the season. I am trying to be postive about this. We have 5 season tickets. As I was writing on the calendar the game schedules, all I could think of was how LONG football season is. I love that it makes Troy so happy. Good thing they sell shaved ice at the games! That keeps me going! (Especially sitting on bleachers in 100 degree weather watching something I really could care less about - I try, really, I try) Troy says as long as he's known me, I've been a shaved ice girl. It's true. Ever since my fam lived in Casa Grande, AZ, I have LOVED shaved ice. They don't have stands in Las Vegas or Portland, so I've been deprived for a few years. Tigers Blood mixed with Blue Raspberry...YUMMY!
8. My dad bought me corn on the cob today. All day I have been thinking it was Saturday, and I told my dad I needed it for Sunday dinner. He probably thought I was crazy, but he bought me some anyways.
9. Kyle is now in scouts. He has gotten his bobcat, and is well on his way to his wolf. Thanks to me. He is going fishing tomorrow for scouts, and is SO excited. As you know, Troy and I are not animal people. We don't like them alive, we don't like to kill them, and we really don't like them dead. So, it's a good thing we live by our family, who most are hunters. My dad will be accompanying him to the fishing pond. THANK HEAVENS! Pretty sure I'd be pretty grouchy taking my 4 kids to a fishing pond by myself tomorrow. All I remember about fishing growing up, is that it wasn't any fun. We couldn't throw rocks in the lake, and we had to get up real early, touch worms, and we had to be quiet. Not my kinda sport.
10. Kyle and Jake are spending the night at Daxton's. While I feel for Cherice, it has been a nice quiet night, in my spotless house, watching a movie with my hubby.
11. Okay, as I was re-reading this, I realized I forgot a HUGE important one. I ran a mile today! YEA! I am taking it very slow, trying to get my foot up to running again. I am going a half mile more each day. So far, my foot hasn't hurt me while running. I ice it every night, but I am really hoping to get up to running 5 miles on a consistent basis. Here's to hoping my feet will hold out...come one, a few more miles...

Well, my eternal post is now coming to an end. Sorry to bore everyone. Oh, I have to say, for any of you Californians - and anyone really, my friend, Priscilla, has some GREAT comments on her blog. EVERYONE should read it. It is some great information on Marriage being between a man and a woman that EVERYONE should be aware of! I think a lot of people wonder why it's a big deal. We're taught to be tolerant of others in this day and age. But this describes how the community and government will be affected by allowing same sex marriages to be legal. I was astounded at the things it lists. PLEASE check it out!