Saturday, November 21, 2015

Four Twins

Julia  decided she wanted to enter the Reflection's contest this year. A couple weeks before the deadline for the contestants I asked her what she wanted to do that would go with this year's theme, "Let Your Imagination Fly." She said she wanted to write a "chapter book" about fairies, "because you have to use your imagination to think about fairies and fairies can fly." 

I figured she would be able to write a small story, but the first day she sat down and started writing she surprised me by writing a full page and showed no sign of wrapping up any time soon. She worked on her story almost everyday for two weeks. 

On the night before the the deadline Julia sat at the kitchen table writing and writing to finish her story. When it started getting late I told her to start wrapping up the story. But Julia knew what she wanted to happen in the story and could not cut it short. She finally finished at midnight! But not before she told me that she was disappointed it wasn't long enough to be a chapter book. I told her she could make this the first chapter of her book.

This week they had the awards ceremony at her school and she was one of the two winners in the literature category! Everyone who participated got called up to get a certificate of participation. They called Julia last in her category as a winner, even though she didn't realize it until they handed her the trophy on stage. Here she is being surprised by her trophy.

With her principal.

She has been carrying that trophy around all weekend, she is very proud of it. And as hard as she worked on her story she should be!

Her 7 page story is below (I typed it up and added some punctuation so it would be easier for the judges to read and she submitted both her original handwritten story and the typed version- which was completely within the contest rules for her age group. They are more interested in content than spelling and punctuation) You can click on the top right hand corner and it will open in a new page that is easier to read.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Las Vegas Ragnar

My Dad and brother were on a team for the Las Vegas Ragnar from my dad's work that needed an extra runner,and Robert and I both really wanted to do it. Robert wanted to do it because he had done the Wasatch Back Ragnar this year and wanted to get the "Saints and Sinners Medal", the medal they give to runners who run both events in the same year. I really wanted to do it because I hadn't done a relay race this year and I was already in good shape because I had been training for a half marathon. Luckily before we came to blows about who got to do it someone else dropped out of the team and they ended up having two open spots 

Then something like four other people dropped out too, so the team ended up being very diverse. It was a team made of people one person who knew someone who knew someone. Most people on the team had never met before the race.

This is how we started out our first day of running. Our start time wasn't until 10:30 am because not everyone filled out their pace times before we were assigned a time and we weren't able to fix it in time for our start time to be changed. We were a little nervous about finishing in time at first, but with all the last minute changes going on on the team we ended up getting some faster runners and were able to come in well before the cut off time. 

Since we were van #2 we didn't even have to start until Friday afternoon. So Friday morning we slept in, went out for breakfast at Denny's, read a book, and took a nap before we even started running.

The Ragnar as a whole was fun, but the first day was a little windy. I was the first runner! I was freezing at the start but once I started running I warmed up in the sun.

Once the sun went down it was freezing though! And sunset was at 4:30! Robert ended up running all his legs in the dark. By the time he ran his first leg on Friday evening it was dark. His second leg was around 5:00 am. He started in the pitch dark and the sun was just rising at the end of his leg so he came in with the sunrise. His last leg he started around 5:00 pm and the sun had just set as he started. 

At the second van exchange as we finished our first legs. Van #1 started in the mountains at a ski resort and ran down to the city. We ran through the city for first legs. They ran through the city for their second legs. We ran through more city and out to Lake Mead in the middle of the night, just barely glimpsing it as we drove away back to our hotel for a nap. The other van ran around the Lake Mead area and back to the city. Our third legs were all in the city again. So we saw a lot of Las Vegas city, but not very much scenic parts of the area. 

My second leg was at 1:00 am and of course was the funnest one. It was in the city, but since it was in the middle of the night there was no traffic. The big complaint from all of us was we hated having to stop at the stoplights to wait for traffic. At 1:00 am you get to a light, look for cars and keep going once the coast is clear.

Robert ready for his cold 5:00 am run.
 Dark hand off.

Last leg!

At the end of my last leg. I liked my distances, 3 miles, 6 miles, and 5 miles, but I was feeling a little tired by the end of this run. But since every runner I passed was walking or close to it I felt like I was doing pretty good!

They had some weird finish chutes. The ending arrow here was pointing me straight straight at a two foot wall. It was very confusing- you had to go around it and through a flower bed and onto the grass in the church parking lot.

 Michael takes off. (Note the confusing two foot wall in the background.)

This was at the beginning of go lucky Jose's run. I don't know what he looked like as he came in even though I was suppose to be taking his picture. This was the second time he came in  so long before we expected him that no one was there at the end of his run.

Celebrating a couple minutes after his run.

Dad takes in the beauty of the scenic freeway underpass.

He skirted the end of the strip on his run. Sun had just set.

Robert takes off for another night run.

At the very end. Once again it was cold once the sun went down but I had to take off my coat for a team picture.
 Van #2

Just our family

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


This fall Robert was the coach for Julia's soccer team. We had five little girls in the neighborhood that wanted to all play on the same team, and when more than four players request to play together you also have to provide a coach. So Robert was nice enough to say yes when I asked him if he would do it.

Both Robert and Julia have a love/hate relationship with soccer. Robert loves that he got to spend time with Julia and I think he also enjoyed teaching the girls about soccer. He didn't like that his Saturdays were always reserved for soccer. Julia loves playing with her friends, playing as team, and getting treats after the game. She doesn't like getting shoved around and having to run until she is tired. 

This was the first season the players had to play positions in the game (as opposed to all the players just chasing after the ball) and having a goalie. So the coach actually had to help the players during the game to know where they needed to be. (Julia is #6)

Julia's not fast (she's always one of the shortest one out there) and she doesn't have great ball handling skills yet, but at least she's not afraid of the ball.

They played their last game on Halloween and she got to play with face paint from the half-marathon after party earlier that morning.

Go Blue Fire! (The girls chose their team name. It was a funny conversation. Half of the girls wanted really girly things like mermaids or fairies, the other half wanted something fierce. Blue Fire sounded good to both sides.)


Halloween morning my Dad, two brothers, and I ran a half-marathon down Provo Canyon. This was my second half marathon and a lot easier course than the last one-mostly all downhill. Training for this one was also easier this time around.  I beat my last time by 18 minutes, dressed as Tinkerbell!

My Dad came in a few minutes before me.

Julia told me at the end I look just like Tinkerbell

I think it was the Tinkerbell shoes

We had a busy Saturday that day, After we finished at the half marathon we came home and got ready for Julia's last soccer game of the season.

Then it was home for dinner and trick or treating! Julia and her friend started out with Micah and Camden, but pretty soon the boys just couldn't keep up with them and we split up into two groups. We all ended up at home at the same time, but with the girls having covered more distance and bringing in more candy.

Halloween Preview Prt. 2

Sorry for the long drawn out Halloween posts but apparently Halloween is more of a season than a one day event. 

The day before Halloween, Friday, we went to Julia's school and saw her in the outdoor school parade.

After we picked Julia up from school we went to Robert's work to go trick or treating.  

Helping themselves at an office where the person had stepped out.

Every time Camden got a sucker he would hold onto it and try to eat it. Eventually he got one open. After we were done at Robert's work I let them eat a bunch of candy on our way home in the car. That made them just a liiiitle bit crazy...all the way until the middle of the night! More about that later.

We found some of the kid's best friends whose dad also happens to work with Robert and they got to trick or treat together for a while.

Later that evening we went to my parent's church in Saratoga Springs for their ward Halloween Chili Cook Off and Trunk or Treating. My Mom won a prize for best soup- potato soup (from a mix ;) )

That night we stayed at my parent's house because I was running a half marathon the next morning with my Dad and brothers. At 2:00 am Camden woke up and didn't want to sleep in his port a crib anymore. I brought him to sleep with me and soon realized that the problem was he didn't want to sleep at all. He kept jumping on me and yelling "Trick or treat, trick or treat, trick or treat!" or "I want to see your belly button!"

Soon he woke up Micah too and they both were having a hay day running around in the basement while we tried to sleep. Robert finally got up with them and took them upstairs to watch a movie so I could sleep. At one point Camden came downstairs and woke me up with his shirt half off and said, "I want to take my shirt off!" I wasn't about to argue. I helped him take his shirt off and he laid down and snuggled with me and went to back to sleep. When I woke up at 5:30 am to get ready for my run Micah was still upstairs watching TV with a half sleeping Robert. Robert said Micah fell asleep a little after we left for the run.

Halloween Preview

The first time the kids got to wear their Halloween outfits was at the Draper City Halloween party at one of the parks. Camden the policeman, Julia was Amber the Orange Fairy (from a Rainbow Magic book), and Micah the fireman.

We had some friends over to paint mini pumpkins

And then carved our pumpkin patch pumpkins with power tools.

The kids gut the pumpkins and draw on their faces.

Robert cuts it out with power tools.