Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Warning: Teenager On Board!

The long-awaited day has arrived! (By him, not us!) Our oldest has finally turned thirteen!

We helped him wake up that morning with some creative pancakes!

In the evening, once Dad arrived home, we celebrated!

He received a few presents, but I think what he is relishing most is the fact that he has passed me in height (by two inches- 5' 8 1/2") and he has passed up his Dad in shoe size (size 11) and there is no end in sight!!

He is tall and lanky, but we couldn't ask for a better leader for our gang!!

Adventures in Arizona

The squirrel hunt was three days of fun, fun, fun!!
My husband came home saying that they just couldn't have had any better conditions, travel, success, etc.
For three days they got to drive down dirt roads on the Kaibab, spot squirrels, hurry and jump out when one was spotted and chase it until it ran up a tree...a tall, tall pine tree--then the mighty shooters got to use their fine shooting skills to shoot the squirrel 50-100 feet up the tree.
For the men-folk of this family, it just doesn't get much better! They came home with stories, adventures, and a whole lot of smiles. Each of our boys shot a rare white-bellied squirrel that they are excited to have mounted for their wall.

Welcome Fall!

It seems like only a few days ago that we were reaching for the popsicles in the freezer and running through the sprinklers.

All of a sudden, fall is here and winter is knocking on the door. I ran in the snow this morning on my run and had thoughts of Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner! Time flies!! I just can hardly keep up sometimes.

We have been busy the past couple weeks: we have enjoyed two football games in the rain and cold (but two wins!!); a costume party with fun games and yummy treats in our backyard with fun neighbors; a trip to a corn maze; one last day of canning-this time V8 juice-Yummy!; lots and lots of sewing (trying to get a few Christmas projects finished); a squirrel hunt in Arizona (see next post); and pictures in the fall name just a few activities. Life is busy and always quickly marching forward! Sometimes I feel like I'm just hanging on...but it is definitely a grand ride!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Applesauce and Football

What have we been up to??? Good question. I enjoyed a week off from running after the marathon...time to heal and recover...and make applesauce. Our neighbor has a golden delicious apple tree that was so full of apples this year that some of the branches were nearly touching the ground. She was begging anyone to come get apples...and we gratefully obliged.

I love picking apples! These apples are so crunchy, sweet, and beautiful! We soon had four huge boxes full. We started making applesauce the next day.

It was a lot of work, but ten hours later we had 65 quarts of applesauce...and a very sticky floor! I think we are finally done with canning this year...oh, except we are picking our neighbor's tomatoes tomorrow while they are out of town...maybe we'll have a bit more salsa, we'll see.

We have also been enjoying the football season. We have a couple of season tickets to the BYU football games and we rotate who gets to go so everyone gets a turn. Last week this die-hard fan cheered the Cougs onto a victory (finally)!!

It is also that time of year to start thinking about Christmas gifts. If I start now, I can actually enjoy the season rather than be stressed out by it. I have several sewing projects I'm in the middle of...I have finished several as well. They turned out great too!! Can't put up pictures though, because the recipients might see them!

Here's a sneak peak of some other Christmas gifts I'm working on. We spent two and a half long hours up the canyon yesterday taking pics. A few turned out...but we may go up again next week to get a few more. I can do the individual pictures pretty easily, but getting five kids to pose just so...and at the same time is TORTURE!!!! For them and me!! I'm going to have to be more prepared next time...with patience and maybe a few tricks up my sleeve! Can you believe how big our oldest has gotten...he's growing like a weed! He turns 13 in a few days. Right now he is on a hunt with my husband and our second oldest. Hopefully they will return with pictures and adventures to share!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

One Last Splash

We have so much fun whenever we are in St. George! We get to stay with my husband's sister and her awesome family and we always have fun!!

The boys are never bored as they spend hours with their cool cousin on all kinds of adventures.

Our younger boys play endless episodes of Star Wars with their cousin "Crazer."

Our daughter gets to be big sister to her younger cousin and I know she loves every second of it.

After the marathon, our cousins took us on a new adventure down to the Virgin River.

The boys learned the fun sport of skim boarding, which is kind of like skate boarding but in the water.

They use a thin board, throw it out in front of them while they are running in shallow water and then jump on it and enjoy a little ride...and maybe try a trick or jump if they are brave.

The older boys caught on pretty quickly,

although they did take several spills.

The water was cool,

yet warm enough to really play in.

My husband took our daughter down to a small waterfall where they attempted to walk under it. They said it felt great (by the afternoon it had warmed up to 94 degrees).

I grabbed a chair and enjoyed a cool seat in the this time my legs felt like a huge bruise and my feet were pretty tender. The cool water felt fantastic!

We enjoyed a fun afternoon in the sun and the sand...until,
slowly these clouds crept in and we were reminded that it wasn't summer anymore, even though it felt like it, but FALL is here!

We watched a lively thunderstorm blow in and headed back indoors just as it arrived.
What a fun afternoon! The kids have talked about it every day since we returned home.

Did It!

The marathon this last weekend was great!! After coming to terms in my own mind that I was just going to run the race to run it (without any expectations)...I was happily surprised by being able to run well.

I started out with a comfortable pace, was able to push the hills slightly, and by halfway I knew that I was on pace for a decent time. I just took it mile by mile and knowing the course this time made a huge difference come miles 20, 21, 22. I was really careful to stay hydrated and to use enough gel. I felt really good.

I never "hit the wall," but really felt strong all the way to the end. During the last mile I got really excited when I realized that I was really close to my goal time (the goal that I set months ago before all the setbacks). My time was 3:24:08...52 seconds faster than my goal time of 3:25. I feel so grateful and I know that all the prayers in my behalf played a big part in how good I felt. Thank you!!

The best part was seeing my family as I approached the finish line, being able to celebrate with them afterwards and then feeling good enough to spend the rest of the day living up the warm life in sunny St. George.