Saturday, March 29, 2008

The end is in sight

We are nearing the end. Yeah!!! It actually hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be! Alia and Ann-Elise spent the night with their friends on Thursday night, so I woke up with only Conner and the 2 babies. The house cleaner came. That always makes for a great day. The girls come home around 11am and we heading to the swimming pool pretty soon after that. I had Hannah come over and watch Caile while Adrie went to her best friend, Zachie's, house. We met Ann-Elise's friend, brother and mom at the pool. Lori spent some time teaching me how to swim with my face in the water. Guess what? I don't really like that! Guess I'd better get used to it because I've got my first tri in 6 weeks! Lori was great and very patient and encouraging with me. When we were done with that we came back home. Mike was already here. Guess it was TGIF for him too! When our Friday night babysitter arrived, Mike and I headed back down to the pool for some more swimming. I felt much more confident this time around. I guess I could learn to like this. We had a fun time together. Oh, and my good friend Laura came back from her camping trip!!! Yeah. My training buddy is back! Today is supposed to be a long bike ride, but I don't know if I'm up for it yet after my last fall... But for sure, it's gonna be a long run day. Hopefully I can get 5-6 miles in. We'll see how that goes!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Escape to the tropics

Ann-Elise has been begging to go to the zoo this spring break. So we decided that today was the day. Everyone got up and the house kinda clean. Which is the best I can ask for! We head out at 11:30. We start out by stopping at Wendy's to get the kids lunch. Now, it's me and 5 kids, so it's not really a "quick" order. But as I'm ordering, some bozo in the truck behind me yells out "Hurry up, Soccer mom!". What??? My kids don't even play soccer. And let me tell you, after the time it took for me to get all 5 kids ready to go and loaded up, my nerves were on end. He's lucky I didn't get up close and personal with his little comment! So, If I ever have need of a crane. I won't be using US Crane. (That was the company name on the side of his truck!).

We left Hubbard with nice sunny weather. By the time we got to the zoo it was cold and very cloudy. We stopped at the little store and bought some gloves for us coldies. We were having a good time checking out the first exhibit. It's under cover. By the time we came out the other end, it was sprinkling. We headed into the Polar Bears as we came out of that exhibit, it started SNOWING! Yes SNOWING. In March. In Portland. What the ??? We passed a promotional sign that said "Escape to the Tropics this Spring Break". Apparently, the zoo has special "tropical" decor and props for the week. Umm, hello. It's SNOWING! Anyway, we headed to the primates, again, undercover. As we came out of that: hail. Yes now hail. We decided to brave it and keep moving. Over to the elephants. Snow again. Then rain. Yep. VERY tropical. It was really funny to see all of these big bright flowers and surfer things and tiki torches while it was snowing!!! By the time we left it was sunny though! All in all it was really fun. The kids did great. Adrie walked the whole way and she did great about listening and not getting too lost. It was fun to see Caile enjoying the animals. This is the first time that we have gone that she was aware of what was going on and she was interested in checking stuff out. She was amazed at any underwater views. It was really cute.

After we got home, I went out for a run. It was beautiful and sunny again! Mike rode his bike next to me. I was so excited to run my personal best. I was at 12:27/mile. I usually run about 14-15, so this was awesome! I was really proud of myself and feel that I could run and sustain that temp. My goal is to be running at 12:00/miles by my duathlon in August. Then on to the 10:00/mile. Yeah!

Oh, I don't think I wrote about my bike ride yesterday. I was following Mike while he ran. We came to a stop and I was wearing my new "clip in" shoes. Anyway, we stopped and I fell. Yep. I fell. On the road. While my neighbor was driving by. Skinned my knee. No biggie. But I broke my new shoe!!! The one I just bought 2 days before. This was the first ride I had taken with them. Oh well. The first of many spills, I suppose!

Tomorrow it's off to learn to swim with my head in the water. We'll see how that goes!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Surviving Spring Break!

It's been kinda quiet with the older 2 kids gone. Leise was a huge help with the babies and was still able to have fun with her friends too! Yesterday we headed into Portland, with Hannah in tow, to spend some time with my dad. He took all 6 kids while I went to the bike shop for a fitting. Conner came with me to the bike shop and was in awe of the 12k bike that they have there! He did pretty well. He did ask a bunch of questions though. I hadn't seen that side of him before.

Anyway, when we got back to my parents Mike was there. We ordered pizza for everyone and then headed to the cool swimming pool. My brothers went with us and so did my nephew. The kids enjoyed themselves and it was fun to change scenery. So, a pretty fun day.

Now, today everyone is home again. So we'll see how this goes!

Oh, and we just found out that Conner made the American baseball team! We are very proud of him and know that he will have an amazing year with an amazing set of coaches. He will be coached by his football coaches from last year. He's a really good kid and this will be a lot of fun for him.

BTW, I see that no one felt "guilted" into leaving a comment on my PIF post. Thanks! I appreciate not having to make more hats or coming up with something else to do!!! Honestly, I appreciate it!

Monday, March 24, 2008


I got suckered into this from my sister's blog. Sorry, but I have to!

"The idea of the exchange is I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on this blog post requesting the join this PIF exchange. I don't know what the gift will be yet, and you may not receive it tomorrow, or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that's my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog- this means you must have a blog, sorry blogless readers."

Spring Break, here we come!

Yesterday was rainy and gross (again!!!) but today has been sunny and bright. My parents and brother, Bryan, came over for Easter dinner yesterday and they took 2 of my kids home with them. I love that! It has been very quiet and peaceful here today. Well, and I "hired" one of the YW from our ward who needs to earn some money for girl's camp, to come over and watch the kids for 4 hours. It was nice to get away. I bought some new bike shoes and bike peddles, a water bottle and cage, energy drink mix and a bike lock. Then went and bought a new swim suit (one that will actually work for "swimming"). Believe it or not, but that's no easy fete! Most swim suits are made to look good in, they aren't very functional! But I think I found one that will fit. Oh, plus they had some running pants on clearance in my size! Go me! I LOVE MONDAY'S!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter!

This morning brought us a beautiful SUNNY day! After weeks of gloom and doom, we had sunny and bright. It's amazing how much that affects my day. We started our Easter weekend with the annual Easter Egg Hunt at the local park. This is fun because it brings friends from all over town together in one place. That's like heaven for me! So many people to chat with that I don't know what to do with myself. Mike had to go meet his uncle in Oregon City at the last minute, so it was just me with all 5 kids. I recruited my neighbor, Tracy, to help me with all the kids at the park in different locations for their age group hunts. It was fun. Adrie cleaned house. She was in the 0-2 age group and it mainly consisted of SMALL kids. She just went for it. Her bucket was filled to the brim! All in all, the hunt lasts for about 2 minutes. Then I have to try to round up everyone. Then I have to let them play at the park, but that works well because I can chat while they play. In the end, about 1 1/2 hours later, we head home. Mike and I grabbed something to eat and then had the neighbor girl come over to watch the kids while we met up with my friend Laura and we all headed out for a bike ride. We rode into Aurora and back. About 10 miles. It was fun. I'm glad that I had Laura with me because there is NO WAY that I would have been able to keep up with Mike. But we had a great time!

We'll have my parents over for dinner tomorrow and I'm excited to fix dinner. I really enjoyed coming up the menu. Tomorrow it will be: Honey glazed ham, asparagus with balsamic butter sauce, broccoli with lemon butter, funeral potatoes, spinach & strawberry salad, hot rolls and pretzel salad. My mom's going to bring the pistachio salad thingy and a cake for my dad's birthday. Mmmmm, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

I'm sure that I had an "O Remember" moment, but for the life of me, I don't know what it is right now! I'm bad. Oh well.

Oh, we also got to meet Ann-Elise's softball coach. I'm excited for her. I know she's going to have a good time. We also learned that she will be on the same team as her bestest friend, Pascal, so that will be fun for them.

Funny story about her coach. Apparently he called on Thursday night, while I was at a meeting, to introduce himself. However, Mike was busy (ok, he was playing his shooty up game) and didn't write the coaches name down. So I was calling some friends to see what team their daughters were on, but I didn't know what Ann-Elise's coach's name was!!! So yesterday I called the softball coordinator. She wasn't home, so I left her a message. But then Mike and I went out for about an hour and while we were out, she called back. This time she talked with Alia. Who, of course, didn't write down the coaches name. So I have to call her AGAIN! What an idiot I am! Finally I get the coaches name. Anyway, today we were able to meet him! Just goes to show that some things (ok, most things) that a mom does just CAN'T be done by anyone else!!!


Thursday, March 20, 2008

It's never ending!

It seems like I've had one heck of a time lately with the 2 younger girls. They are screamy, demanding, fighting, adorable kids. They stress me out! Luckily my good friend Laura called this morning (or last night, I don't remember) to tell me that she didn't need me to watch her daughter this morning, but that when she was done swimming I could drop the girls off at her place and go swim or run. So that's what I did! I went out and ran 5.5 miles, by myself, with no rain! It was amazing. I tell you, that gives you a sense of accomplishment! Tomorrow is swim day, so we'll see how that one goes!

As for my "O Remember" moment today. Hmmm, it was pretty frustrating. But I suppose in a crazy way it was when I was trying to set up Enchanted for the girls to watch. I couldn't get the X-Box 360 to work. Well, it was working, I just couldn't get the controllers to work. It was crazy because I KNOW how to work them. They just weren't doing anything. After a VERY frustrating 10 minutes I IMed Mike. He walked me through it. And all the sudden it started working. So, even though it wasn't really a happy moment. I think it was Heavenly Father's way of telling me that I need to stop and relax. Not to stress out. Somethings are just going to take time and I can't rush them. Well, at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

The other fun thing was Adrie making cookies. I made a package of sugar cookies that have been sitting in the pantry since Christmas and I let her stir it up (then eat the dough). I also let her put the cookies on the pan. She loved that! She sat by the oven and watched them bake and came running over to me when the timer went off. She was VERY proud to give them to the kids and daddy when they came home. It was sweet and I needed that today!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Just another day in paradise!

I was not having the best day today. Home all day, extra kids, messes everywhere. Stress. I needed to get out. I haven't run since last Saturday and knew that would help. I had to wait until Mike got home because it was a very nasty day and I didn't want the babies out in that! I called my friend (and jogging buddy) Laura to see if she had exercised today. Guess what? She was just getting ready to head out for a run. I asked if she'd wait for a few minutes until Mike got home. Yep! I sent the older kids down to the park on their bikes and Laura and I just ran around the track thing there. It was POURING rain. Then it was HAILING. Are we die hards or what? Did we let the crappy weather stop up? Heck no. We went anyway. Yes, we are true runners now!

Then to make the day even better, one of my very good friends who moved away last year called me. We pretty much lost touch and I hadn't talked with her since she left. Now we get to IM each other. That's awesome! I miss her and I am looking forward to catching up.

I have been challenged to jot down small things through the day that remind me that the Lord loves me and remembers me. I thought that these were a fun 2 things!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A fun family night?

I picked up the bike trailer and helmets for everyone yesterday. Came home, set up the trailer. Totally cool! Easy and has a lot of features. Anyway, Mike came home and we tried to get everything set up quickly. And we did. Just in time to head out for a family bike ride in the rain! One of the neighbor kids wanted to come with us, so we headed out. Mike with the 2 babies, Alia, Ann-Elise, Conner and his friend and then me. In the rain. about 1 minute into the ride, Caile starts SCREAMING. Ya, Adrie is beating her helmet and she doesn't like it much. Conner's friend is having issues with his bike gears and is going slower than Ann-Elise (the whole time!) and he keeps stopping. Ann-Elise stops suddenly and Alia runs into the back of her leg, so Ann-Elise is crying. Conner is trying to do tricks on his bike and it's wet and slick, so he falls and bangs up his leg. I'm at the end with the slow kid. WOW. Fun evening out! Finally Mike, Adrie, Caile, Ann-Elise and said friend go home and I take Alia and Conner out for a small ride. That was a little more fun. hmmm, I'm not sure how all this is going to work out, but we'll keep trying!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


So yesterday was my birthday. 34. UGH! But Mike and I went into downtown Portland for the night. My parents came out and watched the kids for us. We headed out around 3:30. Stopped at Costco for some protein bars and then to a bike shop. We checked out a few bikes and I rode a couple around. Then headed downtown. We got to our hotel at 5:45. Checked in and dropped our stuff in our room. Roses and chocolates. NICE! Took a walk to find a place to eat and ended up at Greek Cuisina. YUM! It was wonderful and fun and relaxing. Headed back to the hotel. On our drive in we noticed that the Bike Gallery was only 2 blocks from our hotel, so we headed there in the morning. We found an awesome bike and Mike bought it for me. Yay me. I'm gonna do this tri/du thing. Really I am! So we came home and I went on a couple bike rides. It was so fun! Now I'm ready to get rolling. I then signed myself up for a duathlon on August 2nd. I figured I had to! I kept telling myself that I would sign up as soon as I got my bike...

Oh, I also signed Mike up for a local sprint triathlon in May. He's on the wait list, but I think he's pretty excited about it. And if that one doesn't work, there is another one around the same date. This could be really fun! So tomorrow I'm heading to Costco to get a bike trailer for the babies and then to Target to get helmets for most of the kids. It's amazing how, when one needs a new one, everyone needs a new one!!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A dream come true!

Ann-Elise finally go her wish tonight. She has been BEGGING for glasses ever since her brother got them. Her 2 best friends wear glasses and I think she felt out of the group. Well, we went into Canby and picked hers up tonight.
And in other news: I went into a bike shop today to get some questions answered about a new bike. It wasn't the best experience for me. Here is my "letter" to the guy who "helped" me:
Dear sales guy at the bike shop,
I'm sure that you didn't think anything of it, but when I told you that I was looking for a bike for a duathlon that I had been challenged too, I didn't really appreciate the chuckle. Nor did I appreciate having to "defend" myself as you were looking at me with the amused look on your face.
Oh, and just because you told me to come back "without my distractions" (3 of my kids), you can bite my over sized tushy!! And no, I won't be back!
And when I do buy my $600.00 bike. I'll send a copy of the receipt to your shop so you can see what you missed out on. Although you looked so busy, I'm sure you won't miss the sale. (Yeah right. NO ONE was there!)
A kick butt soon-to-be duathlete

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Last month I started running. Ok, well not really running. Just walking slowly while lifting both legs off the ground... hmm that's not really right either. We'll just say running for the sake of having a horribly bad visual! Anyway, I started running about 4 weeks ago. I ran for about 1 mile the first day I went out. Then I gradually increased. My running friends told me about a local run that was coming up. "It's only a 5k" they said. "You can do that" they said. Ok, fine. I check out the web site. Are you flippin kidding me? It's no 5k. It's a 10k!!! Just when I thought that I could run 3.1 miles, it's really 6.2????? Ok. I can do this right? I run (or whatever) 6 days a week for 2 weeks. I'm ready! Race day comes (last Saturday) and we have our sitter set. Mike's going to run with me. Well, he's going to run the race and then come back for me! We get there. There are 325 people. Oh, please don't let me be last!!! Mike came in 68th out of 220 finishers. I came in 200th out of 220. Yeah. Thank goodness that those last 20 walkers came in! Saved me from being last. Anyway. It was a huge accomplishment for me. I ran (or whatever) the race in 1:31:22. That's a number that is ingraved into my memory now! So, now it's off to the next thing. I have decided that I really enjoy running so I'm going to keep that up. But now I've been challenged to compete in an all women's duathalon this summer. 5k run, 12 mile bike, 5k run. So, I'm off to find a bike so I can train for that! Go me!!!