Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sliding down a rock in freezing cold water

I know the title of this post doesn't sound particularly fun, but it really was! The day before school started I had planned on forcing...I mean, taking... the kids swimming for a last hurrah. Then a friend invited us to go to Sliding Rock with them, a really cool place just up the road (about 10 miles) that I had never heard of. My kids get along great with hers and hiking around is right up my alley, so we changed our plans.

We had a great time, just three moms, a whole pack of kids, and the glory of nature. Oh, and all the high school students and the other moms we met on the way and those teenagers that were somehow better than the rest of us and could get in the gate so they drove up the mile to the waterfall while we had to hoof it.

I don't know...

Are you sure about this?

Sure or not, at this point you can't change your mind.


Even mom, a.k.a. Coldilocks, slid down the rock in the fuh-reezing cold water (snow melt, anyone?). And I went not once, but TWICE! (Yes, be amazed.) The second time was with 6 year-old princess who was so brave!

Just chilling...

No seriously. Can you believe how cold the water is?!

Whew! What an adventure.

On the way home Turbo said enthusiastically, "That was one of the wonders of the world that God created for us!"

And that was almost better than the adventure.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Neighborhood water fight

My boys were so excited when we got the news. They sat around and plotted, and hid an ammo stash of water balloons. What a great way to start the last week of summer!





Who needs a squirt gun or water balloons when a plain old squirt bottle will work just fine?


Payback!

Then the buckets got involved.

Notice the dry-ish moms hanging out on the side? There was a reason I held on to my camera with a death grip. Don't soak the woman with the camera! (And they were circling me like buzzards, too. But I escaped mostly dry.)

I love my neighborhood!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The need for a PLAN

Now that school's in, for the first time in several years I have some good chunks of time to dedicate to things I want/need to do. There are a whole slew of things (I really like that phrase) that I can do during those chunks. I figure I can throw myself into it all and just *go for it* but in my experience that often leads to directionless running around like Mike the Headless Chicken (who lived 18 months without a head), the biggest celebrity from my hometown. *I'm not kidding. See?*

You can find out about Mike the Headless Chicken and his yearly festival (I'm not kidding about that either) here. My favorite quote from that site is "It is a great comfort to know you can live a normal life, even after you have lost your mind." Ha ha ha!

Anyway, back to the blog post. Much as I appreciate Mike for putting Fruita on the map, I don't want to waste 18 months emulating him. So I decided it's time for a PLAN.

And to do that we need a huddle!

**In keeping with the random bits of trivia I'm in the mood to share, did you know that the huddle was invented by a deaf football player? Here's the story.**

I've invited various parts of me to the huddle--the lazy me, the computer junkie me, the productive me, the mommy/wife me, the writer me, the silly me, the blogging me, the psycho-exercising me, and the time wasting me. (Other parts of me didn't show up for the huddle, but I'll track them down for their input.)

In the huddle:

Productive me: We're here to come up with a PLAN.

Lazy me: Do we have to capitalize plan? Because that takes more work.

Productive me: Yes, it's all caps. PLAN just sounds more serious than plan. And this is serious.

Silly me: That's my problem sometimes--being too serious. It makes me seem like an old fuddy-duddy.

Time Wasting me: Is this going to take long? Because I haven't checked facebook yet today.

Productive me: Facebook can wait. Don't you dare open Tweetdeck, either!

Time Wasting me: But Twitter is so helpful.

Writer me: It really is. All those editors and agents put good stuff on there. As well as authors, too. Just check out this blog about how Twitter is not just a waste of time.

Blogging me *smirking*: I showed her that.

Mommy/wife me *raises hand*: I need to get the laundry out of the dryer.

Productive me: Fine. But do it quickly and come right back!

Lazy me: I think I'll go eat a banana--

Productive me: Hold it! You're not leaving until we have a PLAN.

Lazy me: You let her go.

Computer junkie me: I wonder if I have any new email.

Productive me: You just checked it 10 minutes ago.

Writer me: We've just been wasting valuable writing time. I gotta get in my 6.5 pages today.

Psycho-exercising me: I could go for a 10 mile bike ride and think this all out in my head.

Productive me: You know that exercise/planning thing never works. And don't worry, you'll get your writing time in.

Lazy me: But I'm hungry. And you don't want to get your blood sugar so low you almost pass out like yesterday in the dentist's office.

Silly me: They all thought it was watching them pull your son's teeth.

Psycho-exercising me *indignant*: It wasn't that at all. It was the 5 mile run in the heat and not eating enough.

Silly me: Yeah, right.

Psycho-exercising me: It had nothing to do with the blood. It was all blood sugar!

Blogging me: This will make a great blog. I better go write it down before I forget.

Productive me: Do! Not! Leave! We're having a huddle, people!

Writing me *tapping watch*: 6.5 pages...

Psycho-exercising me: I'm not huddling next to her *points at silly me who is making funny faces*

Time Wasting me: I think I'd like to try out a new station on Pandora.

*huddle breaks up as everyone starts talking at once*

Productive me *yelling*: Stop it! This isn't getting us anywhere!


Um, yeah. So maybe the PLAN will happen next week.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Squeeee!

Today is the...
FIRST!!

DAY!!

OF SCHOOL!!

And yes, I'm really *that* excited!

All three children are in school for the full day now, which leaves me with 6-ish hours to get to all those things I couldn't before, and to write like I've never been able to. It's like a whole new world opening right before my eyes... *staring into the distance with a pensive--yet optimistic--expression*

But first I think I'm just going to sit on the couch, stare at the wall, and enjoy the silence for a little while...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Doing a half-job

As in a half-marathon. Yes, my hubby finally succumbed to spouse-pressure and agreed to run a half-marathon with me. For those who may not know, a half-marathon is 13.1 miles.

We signed up 4 weeks before the race so luckily we were both still in decent shape from running the Wasatch Back. And it was an experience, for sure!

We'd been told that this race was a bit disorganized in the past. Maybe you should be the judge.

First of all, I almost broke out in hives every time I had to go to the website for information. I'm pretty sure that English is not the primary language of whoever organizes this race. The directions were about as clear as some of those assembly instructions included in furniture-in-a-box from Wal-Mart. And as we got reminder emails for what to do as the race approached I realized that we were dealing with an English-language free spirit. I am obviously way too rigid in my use of punctuation and the old-fashioned notion that you must string words together so they make sense. Pshaw!

Punctuation is optional and can be placed any! where at random? poin,ts . Spacesarealso used only when, you feel likeit and sentences ?don't even have to! make sense. Something else I learned was that !!exclamation! marks in different colors! are really ! nifty (especially red) and that you can leave a sentence at two words and an exclamation mark so that your reader has to guess the rest. Like: Pick Up! (Pick up what? Where? When? Aaargh!)

**Do you see why I almost went into a seizure every time I had to try and decipher one of these horrible emails?! My poor, aching writer brain!

So after figuring out the instructions (sort of), we decided we had to leave at 4:45 a.m. so we could get to the place to be in line for the bus up to the starting line because we simply must! be on the bus! by 5:30!! or else we would miss the start time of 6:30! I repeat: the start time of 6:30!

We managed to get on a bus fairly quickly. *whew* We were talking, laughing, and enjoying the Ben Gay scented interior until we began wondering where we were. The driver had turned from the road we thought he should be on (but, hey, we'd never run this race before so what did we know) and we were trundling in the dark up a little one-lane road with mountain chalets on either side. Suddenly the bus just stopped in the middle of the road. The driver had obviously figured out he was lost. And there wasn't enough room to turn around a full-size school bus. Soooo, naturally the driver slowly backed down the little road with parked cars on either side. In the dark. And we're looking at our watches as the start time of 6:30 creeps closer.

Eventually we backed our way to the parking lot where we had gone astray. We made it up to the starting line and the super-welcome line of port-a-potties. We got off the bus and realized that the mulling crowd of 400 people by the bathrooms weren't just hanging out. They were all in line. Forget that! We joined a couple other people clambering around the mountainside to visit nature's facilities.

It was really cold and we were glad for our sweats, esp. as the start time! of 6:30 came and went without a single sign of someone who actually was in charge. After 7:00 we finally pressed with the 2000 other people toward the start line. The gun went off and it was time to run with the herds of the Serengeti.

Yep. That's what the first four miles felt like. Dodging runners of various speeds and girths. But once the runners spread out we were able to enjoy a good, scenic run. And it was nice to see so many people we knew. *More fun to pass them than to have them pass us :) *


We made the whole race together--Jason with his monstrous blisters (I didn't post pics, you can thank me later) and me with a hip that decided 10 miles was enough. We finished at 1:43:35 (but actually 1:42 because I'm not counting my mad dash into the woods to avoid another port-a-potty line).

We were #235 & 236 overall. Jason was 29th in his division and 158 overall for the men. I was 34th in my division and 96 overall for the women. Not too shabby!

That's! right! We're! Runners!

A special thanks to James for being at our house before 5 a.m. so we could do it. *hugs*

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Is it just me...

... or does this look like something you might get from Pampered Chef?


Yes, there's only a week until the first day of school.

And it's probably a good thing I didn't have a shiny, nice, Pampered paddle around the last little while.

Monday, August 10, 2009

An actual campground is optional when camping

All you really need is a backyard, a tent, and a BBQ.

S'mores by BBQ is way cooler than S'mores by campfire, doncha know?


Oh, you do also need a husband willing to sleep out in said tent in the backyard, since it would be way too squishy for me to be in there with the kids, too. And yes, even though it was a sacrifice, I volunteered to sleep in the horribly boring house in my horribly boring bed. I did yell out the window "Are you okay out there, sweetie?" to my husband. I am, after all, a loving and attentive wife.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Alice in Wonderland - Tim Burton Style

In case you haven't heard about the upcoming movie, here's the teaser trailer. It looks really interesting. I'm not a big fan of the story, or necessarily Tim Burton's movies, but I'm definitely curious.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A-hiking We Will Go

That's right, I dragged the family off for some more hiking fun. Don't let the kids fool you. They enjoy it almost as much as me. This time we hiked up a mountain to visit a prominent white letter. Those of you who know where we live will know what letter that is. Those of you who don't, well, you can pick any letter you want (although there may be clues in this post).


The city in the background.

At the top. Yea! It was a steep climb, but the kids did great.

Turbo retrieving a fellow hiker's hat. He liked it so much he went down the letter the whole way (no cheating on the steps on the side).

And here we are climbing down the big, white letter.

Unfortunately, we didn't see the sign at the foot of the trail that said not to climb on the letter until we were all finished. Oops! So, don't do what we did. *sheepish*

And a sudden, spontaneous urge to do YMCA?

What a view!
The kids wanted to photograph the wildlife we came across.
The kids liked going down much better than going up.

Wahoo! We did it!