Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Day at the Fair

One day while I was driving I started thinking about things that kids have to experience. I realized that my kids had never had cotton candy. Where do you get cotton candy? The fair of course! The last time I went to the county fair, I was 18 years old. We decided to make it happen this year. RJ even entered his beets. He assumed his would be the only beets entered and planned on taking home the grand prize of $3. Jeramie, Becky, Kaleigh, and Olivia let us tag along with them and their free Good Samaritan passes.

I bought the kids cotton candy to nosh on while we waited for the "Jest in Time" clown act. To my utter surprise, McKenna did not like it! RJ balled it up and she ate some condensed cotton candy but that was it.

It turned out that Hunter wasn't a huge fan either. Kaleigh ate most of his and had a blue stained face.
Unfortunetly, I liked the clown show as much as they liked the cotton candy.
While we were walking around, we saw a table with a sign-up sheet for mutton-bustin'. There was one free spot left and RJ was contemplating signing Hunter up. I tried to imagine Hunter going through with it and thought he would chicken out. I didn't want to take someone elses spot so we stepped aside and Kaleigh signed up. Of course Hunter cursed me for the next 15 minutes so we wandered back to see if they would squeeze him in. We felt grateful when they said yes. That feeling of gratitude eventually left when I saw the first kid bolt out of the gate. He was maybe 1-2 years older than Hunter and had all of the necessary cowboy gear on- boots, chaps, buckle, a plaid shirt, vest and of course, a hat. That sheep flew out of the gate and almost rolled over the poor cowboy. I started to hope that Hunter would chicken out. I was scared when they called his number. My little city slicker son was going to try his luck with those angry, old sheep.
Some kids barely made it out of the gate so I was surprised when through my action shooting camera, I saw red for several clicks.

I heard people cheering and then he was off.

I looked over at Becky to find out how it went.

"He got stepped on," she said. The announcer pulled him over to ask if he had fun and he hesitantly muttered "yeah." "Would you do it again?" They followed up. He shook his head no. I was glad that he wasn't crying and figured he musn't have gotten hurt. Poor Kaleigh went next and didn't have any better luck. She hit the gate on the way out and cried heartily. When we met up with them, he had a scratch on his upper thigh and RJ said the sheep stepped on his groin. I told RJ to check it out when he took him to the bathroom. He said all was well. We will be grandparents someday!

We bought them some tickets to go on the rides. McKenna loved this little dragon swing. Hunter wanted to go on it after McKenna but I told him to go on the big one.

He was two inches too short but they let him on with Jeramie in the middle of him and Kaleigh. He had a death grip on the bar and looked nervous. When it started, his face turned from nervous to outright terrified. We wondered if he was going to puke or cry. We saw him mouth, "get me off." He survived without crying but I felt aweful for convincing him to go. He had a much better time on tilt-a-whirl.

McKenna had fun on the carousel. It was three dollars for the silly ride so I thought (as I saw them walking towards it), she better at least pick the pretty dragon. To my delight, she picked the best looking animal on the carousel- the dragon.
We had a great time. Thanks Jeramie and Becky!

The Man Date Weekend

After a few sister gatherings, the men started to ask when their male bonding day would be. We kept telling them they could plan it whenever but we (women) all knew that none of them would actually take the time to organize such an event. I decided that they deserved it and I would break down and organize one for them. I scheduled a tee time for them to play 18 holes of golf here in Albany. Dave and Christine came up with their kids the night before and we made a fun weekend of it. We picked gorgeous raspberries and blueberries Saturday morning.

The kids enjoyed it almost as much as we did.

This picture is out of order. McKenna was saying good-bye to Brooklyn. She kept wanting to touch the poor child's face. I told her she could touch her feet. Here she is actually obeying!

McKenna is inspecting the raspberry. Surprisingly, she is not a big fan.

Christine was impressed with the size of the berries. She basically said she was using us for our berry picking connections.

My prize berries.
I made two yummy raspberry pies, RJ made his infamous seedless jam, and we ate the rest. Of course this picture doesn't include the berries Hunter and RJ picked.

Dad and Matt drove out from Reedsport. Matt and his brother Richard came up from Eugene. They didn't take the camera with them so I have no evidence that they actually played golf at all. Rumor got around that they had a good time though. We played Ticket to Ride almost until the ink fell off the cards and I eventually won once!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

4th of July Weekend

We went to Granma/pa Morrison's for the weekend along with Matt and Dave and their families. We had a very fun weekend. We played Ticket to Ride more times than I can count. I am however able to keep track of the number of times I won ... a big fat ZERO!

Uncle RJ wrestling half of the rugrats while we waited to load up and head over to the church for breakfast.

The 4th of July breakfast is always a big hit. We supplied 24 of the mouths needing to be fed. We sang a few songs and thanks to mom we had to repeat Yanky Doodle Dandy with more "gusto" even though we had been waiting for breakfast for at least half an hour.

Brooklyn could be mistaken for one of Donald Trumps illegitimate children with that crazy hair piece!

We had a picnic at the park. RJ manned the new grill we all chipped in and bought mom and dad.

The boys played football. Dad also brought mom's exercise ball to play kickball with. It was really fun.

Blanche and Brooklyn playing their own games.

Poor McKenna was so exhausted, she missed the picnic and the games.
Blanche took us all out to Sizzler for dinner. Mom and dad took great courage and willing took all of the grandkids home so Matt, Carda, Dave, Christine, RJ and I could see Eclipse in the theater. I know the men were not really into it but it was nice to all be together. We had some good laughs afterward. Unfortunately, my batteries in the camera died and I wasn't able to catch certain men running around Granma's without shirts on trying to be Jacob.
Sunday I was especially touched when we sang the national anthem in sacrament meeting. I thought about my experience in Argentina and how grateful I am to live in America. "Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserved us a nation." Maybe Americans need to sing the third verse more often?

Thursday, July 1, 2010


For about a year now, RJ has been trying to get rid of whatever rodent we have that is tearing up our yard. He tried cayenne pepper, mole and gopher pellets, traps, worms, sulfur bombs and more traps. He had an exterminator come and after two visits, they determined that we had a gopher but admitted that they were not good at catching/killing gophers. RJ called around and apparently nobody in Albany can kill a gopher. He upped his efforts and it paid off! Yesterday, he walked in from work and with a giant grin on his face said, "The spoils go to the victor" and he threw his arms up in the air. I stood puzzled trying to figure out what he had won. Whas it an eating contest at work? Did he get one of the jobs he had applied for? When he told us that he killed that rotten gopher we were so happy for him. I grabbed the camera to capture evidence of his kill. It was like Christmas morning waiting for him to lead us out the door.
The trap had snapped and a dirty little claw was caught in the trigger.

The proud trapper!
This may be a business opportunity dear?

Cousin Time

Beth had her baby boy, Gannon on June 16th. We thought it would be fun to have Bailey and Paige come visit for a few days while Beth recovered. They had a lot of fun and did a lot of things (ie. swimming, jumping, story time at the library, playing at parks, going on walks, playing at the toy factory, and watching movies with pizza- though I must admit, it was not my best homemade pizza). I wanted to take more pictures but either I forgot my camera or the kids weren't into the picture thing.
I don't know where Bailey pulled this pouty face from since she was smiling a second before?

McKenna and Paige enjoying a bath.

The much anticipated half-marathon!

When Dave and Mila Newcomb were concluding their visit with us in December, we had a conversation about goals as we approached the airport. Dave challenged me to run a half-marathon by July 1st. I hesitated since I am not one who loves running. I knew it would be a challenge but that I could do it. I enlisted Theresa to run with me. It was something she had talked about doing before but hadn't gotten around to. I figured it would be more fun to do together. I started excercising more to prepare my body for the 12 week training schedule. I found out that I was pregnant on March 1st. My OB gave me the green light to go ahead with my goal. It was a long and hard process especially when I was feeling sick and tired but every time I finished my training (whether it was 3 miles or 10), I felt a sense of accomplishment and was proud of myself. I couldn't have done it without RJ who happily took the kids while I ran and who bought me a treadmill. Thanks dear, you're the best. Hunter was really supportive also. He often ran 1 of the miles with me.

We drove out to Bend on Friday, June 25th and stayed at Chuck's dad's house. I didn't hardly sleep the two nights before our big race but I had adrenaline on my side.

We bought matching outfits and Chuck coordinated our music so we were running to the same beat.
We woke up and drove to Sun River to register and be there for the pre-race instructions. When we got there, we realized that I had the keys to the van which was supposed to be Chuck, RJ's and the kids transportation. That was the first kink in a day full of unusual events. Chuck was able to drive out and get the keys but we didn't see them at take-off and thought it would be near impossible for them to find us along the course of the trail.
Our master plan was to run 3 miles then walk 1 mile. There were more hills than we had trained for and though we were shivering when we first got there, it started to heat up fast. After the first 3 miles, I realized I had to use the bathroom. There was a line at the outhouse, so I figured I would survive during our walk to the next one. There was a long line there as well. I knew I couldn't start running with my full bladder so we decided to wait it out. I drank the heed beverage they provided (similar to gaterade) and started to feel sick. I wondered if it was the drink. I got hot and felt dizzy. The words on the porta-potty got blurry and the next thing I knew, I was leaning against a tree with my head and surrounded by about 4 women telling me to take a drink. Apparently I fainted and according to witnesses it was pretty graceful. I felt instantly better. Everything became clear again and I felt fine. I was affraid of losing my place in line so I scooted forward on my butt. I decided from that point on, I would have to drink water or heed at each station (every mile) and keep myself cool by splashing myself with water. We continued according to plan and I felt fine aside from being mentally thrown off my game.
Theresa said she thought she spotted Chuck but then he disappeard.

I saw RJ's pink shirt and even though we were in our walking mile (7), we decided to run to heighten the excitement of the moment.

It was so fun to see the kids standing there with their signs and cheering "Go mommy!" We gave them high fives and kisses and kept going. I was hoping that since they found us, they would be able to track us and see us a few more times but I guess there was some confusion and we didn't meet up again until the finish line.

RJ and Chuck helped the kids make signs the night before.

I guess RJ wanted to do more but his plans didn't fully work out. I was just happy and grateful for all their efforts. It was a long morning for the kids.

They waited and...

I got some woman power support and was even told I was a legend. Apparently people that we passed had talked about me. I'm not sure if I was famous for fainting or simply doing the race pregnant?
Our bodies were both pretty tired when it came down to the last mile. I took some deep breaths and told myself it was just one little mile and that our precious fans were waiting for us at the end. There were crowds of people lined up along the finish line cheering and clapping. I turned my music off and felt a sudden surge of emotion. It was so strong that I almost cried. We ended up finishing in 3 hours and 5 minutes.
I was a little nervous about what would happen when I stopped moving this time but I loaded myself up with a disgusting muscle milk drink that was 50% protein and found a place to sit in the shade. Unfortunately, that muscle milk made Theresa puke.

We got medals, hand towells and long sleeved shirts.

Here is the only evidence of my fall.

My great family! Thanks for being there on a day that meant a lot to me.

It was almost like a carnival afterward. They had all kinds of booths set up and there were some free bounce houses for the kids to play in.
We went to a place called Pilot Butte for lunch (they have awesome burgers). I felt the baby move and felt reassured. Unfortunately, our celbrating didn't last long. On our way back to Chuck's dad's house on the "back roads" we had an accident. We were going about 25 mph and all of sudden a 7 year old on a bike crossed the street in front of us at a crosswalk. RJ tried to stop but we knew there wasn't enough time. RJ jumped out of the car and called 911. The boy was talking and didn't look injured but the ambulance took him away on a stretcher just in case. We called the hospital the next day and he was released the same day he was admitted. The news reported that he didn't have any major injuries for which we were so grateful. However, they did make it sound like it was RJ's fault and that the boy was waiting and watching at the crosswalk.

Is it a boy or a girl?

On Monday, June 21st, RJ and I enjoyed seeing our little bundle via ultrasound. The technician took a long time pointing things out and explaining what he was looking for (and at). We told him not to tell us what the sex of the baby was but to circle it on a prepared piece of paper I brought. We looked away when he was looking down in that region.
Mom drove out to join us for a dinner with family and friends where we would open our special envelope. We have been wanting to take her and dad to a place called Tokyo. I thought she would get a kick out of watching the chef prepare the food. Hunter was really impressed but McKenna was freaked out.
Hunter and Grandma waiting patiently

Chuck and Theresa joined us. Theresa is the one who gave us the idea to open the envelope at dinner as a family. I'm so glad she did. It was a really fun and special dinner.

Jared and Jessie celebrated with us too

This is the only picture we got of our family and my eyes are closed! Oh well. The envelope Hunter is holding says, "What will it be?" We went around the table and everyone guesses whether they thought it was a boy or girl. Me and McKenna were pretty much the only ones saying "girl". We finally opened our envelope and saw the word "girl" circled. I was really excited because I felt like maybe I was in tune this time. I have thought it was a girl since before I got pregnant! RJ was really surprised because he didn't see it coming. Hunter was bummed because he wanted to share a room with his baby brother. I told him to trust me, he would be glad to have his own room after having to share with McKenna for a few years.

A beautiful fried rice heart with a sesame seed arrow.

An onion volcano
When we revealed the sex of the baby, mom presented us with a gift. There were two adorable outfits and a receiving blanket. Mom let us know that Dad helped pick them out. Thanks mom and dad!

Cute Kids

I bought the kids a little pool to cool off in as soon as I saw signs of summer.
It was still pretty chilly

That big dirt clod behind Hunter is our yard!

My little smiler

I was thinking about RJ while he was at work and thought he might need a little something to cheer him up.

I thought that this picture would do the trick.