Saturday, June 20, 2009

Wow! Wow! WOW!

Today was action-packed! I did a Triathlon this morning with my friend, Darci and with Marty and his friends. The swim was in a pool, which was fun and much less stressful than in the lake. I haven't been clocking very many running miles this year so I was thrilled I was able to get through the run and finish!

Even more thrilling was to watch Marty compete in the Kids Tri. They started after we finished so we could watch them. They swam 100 yds, biked 3.4 miles and ran 1 mile. I was a little worried about Marty in the swim because we'd only practiced once. He did awesome!! He kept up a great speed the whole time, passed lots of kids and didn't tire out. He said he felt great the whole time! He had a huge smile on his face the whole race until the very end of the run when he put the heat on trying to beat a kid to the finish and almost puked at the end :-) The end of the run was a huge hill and again I wondered if he would make it. Yes! He ran hard up the hill and kept going strong to the finish. (He's got a little Sheree in him! Or maybe an Angela from bygone days!) **Click on the photo of Marty leaving with his bike to see his HUGE smile!**

We got up at 6:00 to get to the Tri. Marty finished at 9:45 and we changed clothes quickly and made it to his Orchestra Concert/Violin Recital culminating Suzuki Institute at 10:00. The cool thing was he was really excited about playing in the orchestra concert because they had learned "such fun songs" this week. (The conductor was a visiting professor from Argentina. His Recital Conductor was visiting from Sweden.) As soon as he was done playing at 12:00, we darted over to his baseball game and made it there at the top of the second inning. Stopped for lunch at 2:00 and then home to relax the rest of the day. He's an amazing kid and talented in so many areas. I'm really proud of you, Marty!

Thanks also to Courtney and friends for holding down the fort all afternoon.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

First Week of Summer OR The Beginning of The Spoon People

Even though we've had downpours every day this week, it still feels like summer! No bedtime, no wake-up times, no lunches to be made and cereal for breakfast.

The first few days started out quietly--Marty went to Basketball Camp and Chris and Dan went to Colorado. Nick started swimming lessons and Courtney was bored at home while I got organized and enjoyed not having a schedule.

Wednesday Nick got his cast off. YEA! (Although it was waterproof so he didn't have to hold back on any activities really.)

By Thursday Chris and Dan were back and the beginning of the spoon people began. I knew Sharpies were great, but add plastic spoons and my youngest children and their friends have been entertained for hours day after day. They invented spoon people at a friends house, because I'm sure if I'd suggested it, it never would have gone over this well.

Marty's team were league champions at camp and Courtney spent the end of the week at youth conference. My new computer arrived and Dan spent the weekend getting it all hooked up. (After he spent last weekend "fixing" my old computer--downloading all files to a new hard drive, installing new hard drive (not so easy in a Mac) reinstalling software and getting everything up and running. Only to find it wasn't the hard drive after all but a something, something failure which means we had to buy a new computer.) So now we have a TERABYTE back-up drive on top of my 350 GB internal drive. SWEET! (And I remember when we got a 1 GB hard drive in our VERY FANCY computer at work 14 years ago which was kept with us in the computer center and only VERY talented people were allowed to use it because it had 1 GB and was SO SPECIAL!! WOWSA! We thought we'd never use THAT MUCH SPACE!!!)

Finally, this is to show how Christopher likes to make his bed -- stuffed animals tucked into his blanket -- everything in its place. Still not quite sure how the desk clutter happened. Oh yeah, he's 8.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood is a ladies only bike ride in Wellsville, Utah (near Logan). The course is mostly flat, rural roads surrounded by gorgeous green farm land. You can choose to ride 15, 30, 45, 64, 80 or 100 miles. I signed up for 64 -- more than twice as far as I've ever ridden before. Figured it would be super challenging without being overwhelming. And if I had to quit early, I could just call Dan and he could pick me up. No pressure.

There was a huge downhill at 26 miles which was so fun and a great break. At the end you turned right to head out on the 64 mile course and left for the 80 and 100. I felt great so I turned left. 6 miles later at the turnoff for the 80 mile course I still felt great so I kept going. Two miles later I really regretted my choice. Knees hurt. Arms hurt. Back hurt. And only 65 more miles to go. As I was climbing a hill at 39 miles, realized I didn't feel any worse than climbing the steep hill I do on my regular route -- after only 7 miles. Seemed like a good sign.

At the top of that short hill there was a rest station. I decided to stop and stretch. Called Dan to let him know I was on the 100 mile course--past the point of no return. It started raining. We rode for 30 minutes in the rain -- but with helmets and arm covers you didn't really notice and it really wasn't too bad.

Sometimes I couldn't see anyone ahead of me or behind me. Lots of times people passed me. A few times I passed other people. You're not supposed to wear headphones so I had a lot of time to think -- 9 hours, to be exact. There were a few beautiful things that I noticed along the road that I was going to remember: Birds with bright orange necks. The sound of bullfrogs in the river just after the rain. Lots of dead deer -- even a smashed snake (ew!) and a dead horse with its guts spilling out (ew! ew!!) Full, slow-moving rivers that looked perfect for a tubing adventure. Something else beautiful that I was going to remember but have not been able to remember.

I was kind of worried about the really steep hill at 50 miles, but when I got there, I did great -- climbed slowly but consistently -- took 7 minutes. (Seven groups of counting 1-1000's, 2-1000's up to 40, which is a habit I've developed to get me through big pushes riding or running.) There was a rest station at the top but I didn't stop because the reward of making it to the top of the hill is to enjoy the flat for a while!

At 55 and 56 miles there was a lot of wind and I didn't know how much farther until the lunch stop. 62 miles was lunch. Stopped at 70 to look at a map. 77 stopped because I was afraid if I didn't stop I'd regret it. Made it through the boring industrial side of Logan where I was really wishing I had a friend to talk to. At 97 stopped for a drink and to get ready for the last push. Pulled into the finish 30 minutes later. Been on the road 8 hours, 37 minutes. Been on my bike 7 hours and 30 minutes. 104 miles! Go Angela! Feeling pretty good about myself...

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Desk Clean-Out

With the end of school fast-approaching, the kids needed to clean out their desks. Christopher kept telling me he'd need a ride home because there was too much to carry. I told him he could surely fit everything in his backpack. He told me he couldn't.

Well...he was able to fit everything in his backpack--just barely! I never expected that this organized boy who loves a clean room (when not in the middle of a building project -- Legos or currently my mom's moulding samples from her new house) would horde this much stuff in his desk!! Yes...ALL of it was in his desk!

Ahhhh...but as I sorted through the mess (because you know it would kill me to throw it all away without going through it and organizing it first), I wanted to wrap my arms around my second-grader and keep a memory of his second-gradeness forever.

Literally HUNDREDS of pencils, pens, markers, colored pencils, erasers and bits of trash!

Of course there were no pencils in the pencil box, but instead it had been turned into a "home" for the metal leg-post which was actually a "portal to the outer world to get out of the pencil box." The portal's red sleeping bag is on the right and don't be fooled by what looks like an ordinary glue stick cap. It's actually a night-light for "portal."

Several pairs of scissors, glue sticks, tape, Bakugon cards etc.

The yo-yo was transformed into "evil son of Greenness."

Lots and lots and lots (only a fraction shown of what actually existed) of pens that had been disassembled. (Remember how exciting it was to discover how to take pens apart!)

Ever-present Legos.

Homemade pencil/pen combo held together by a plastic tube.

Several of his teacher's pencils (marked and flagged with her address label).

Bite of a doughnut, portion of a chocolate-chip cookie, gummy finger I can only imagine had been there since Halloween and something rotten, moldy and slimy in a ziploc bag.

Lots of Sharpies. Not quite sure where he got these from -- I can only assume his teacher. (I'm secretly excited because who doesn't love a Sharpie and he collected quite a mother lode!)