Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Little Red Riding Hood

Last weekend I participated in the Little Red Riding Hood women's only ride. This is a yearly event with all proceeds going to benefit Huntsman Cancer and some of the most serious issues facing women.

Last year I did this ride and loved it. The scenery is beautiful, the weather was great, and there is a really fun atmosphere throughout the ride. Last year was the first year I had my bike. It was a Mother's Day gift from my loving husband (a biker man himself) Funny thing though, I said "sewing machine" and he heard "road bike". Huh, must be one of those Men are from Mars things. . . Anyway. I did 40 miles last year and was really excited to ride again this year.

So, figuring that I was a more experienced rider this year and I would be able to ride about the same amount as last Spring, I ambitiously signed up for the 64 mile ride this year. Of course things didn't quite work out the way I had planned.

We had a really wet and cold Spring (hard to ride when it's raining) and then if you have read my previous posts about my basement woes and graduation - the bottom line here is that I was nowhere near as prepared as I should have been for this ride.

So let's just cut to the chase: Ride Day

Here I am before the start. Don't I look happy? The weather was a little chilly and there was a slight wind - no big deal at this point. I've got my arm warmers, wind vest and my pockets in back are packed with all the essentials that I might need - cell phone, lip stuff, asthma inhaler, etc.

Here I am at the starting point - this is where you "hurry up and wait."

The first 30 miles were great - not really a problem.

Then after lunch the wind picked up and we had a REALLY strong headwind for the last 30 miles. I have to tell you I HATE, hate, HATE the wind!

Here I am making progress slowly, but surely. I had to down shift to a lower gear just to keep going in that miserable wind!!

Now, this picture is a story! Notice the three women behind me. They are drafting on me. This means that I am blocking the wind and making it a little easier for them to ride. When you ride on a team, you usually take turns being in the front so that one person is not doing all the work and everyone benefits. Even if you are NOT on a team, it is courteous to take turns. That being said - these chubby chicks come up behind me and start drafting on me (in the crappy, crappy headwind) for about 6 miles. This is hard work people! So finally I start straying off to one side hoping that they will get the hint. Not a chance! Then I say "Hey, do one of you want to take the front? " and the one closest to me goes "No, we're good!" all cheery like. So help me - - - if I get off this bike. . . .

Here I am on the home stretch - look, I can actually get my arm up to wave to Mark as he takes my picture!

At the finish line they give sparkling cider to all cyclists and the Big Bad Wolf is there to greet you and congratulate you on a job well done.

Whew - 64 miles! I feel good, but man am I glad Mark is driving us home!

GrAD NiGhT PaRTy!!

I'm on the PTA board of our High School. Now before you get too impressed, what this actually means is that I prepare the newsletter that is sent out each quarter along with your student's grade report.

Usually I try to make it to the meeting each month, but that usually means that I am bringing along my two "Supervisors" and they love to explore the front office of the High school. (the front office ladies don't like it so much) So. . . my attendance is spotty.

A while back my friend asked if I would be willing to help with the Grad Night party and I said "sure, just let me know what I can do." A little later she came back to me and said "would you be willing to help with the games?" Again I said "sure that sounds fine." Somehow from there (this part is still a mystery to me) I became IN CHARGE of the games for the evening!! AAAGGGHHH!!! How to entertain 370 teenagers?!?!

I actually had a GREAT committee and they came up with some wonderful ideas. I must admit I was a little hesitant at first. However it all worked out great and based on the feedback from the kids I think they all had a great time.

We had the gum chewing for weight game where they had to unwrap as much gum with oven mitts on their hands, using a spoon and a fork, chew it up and then spit it out and weigh it to see whose gum weighed the most.
At the end of the night the team with the heaviest gum won. (Gross)

There was the VERY popular Boxer Bingo. The only rule here was that if you won you had to wear the boxers that you won.

We had a plate and cup stacking contest (who knew they would get so into this?!)

There was a nail pounding competition with a boys and girls category.

Of course we had lots of yummy food and treats for them!

One of the all time favorites was the Drunk Goggles. We borrowed them from the Utah Highway Patrol and had the kids wear them and then walk a straight line and then a serpentine through the cones. More fun to watch than to actually do if you ask me!

They had to stand on a balance beam and pass an orange with their neck. This sounds dumb, but they LOVED it. Again, Who Knew?!

Grad Night lasted from 9:00 pm until 5:00 am the next morning. The only rule was that if the kids left they couldn't come back in. We had tons of other activities including Comedy Sports, Laser Tag, Rock Band competition, Ping Pong, Swimming, Prize Wheel, Roaming Magician, food, food and more food.

Overall it was a success. We originally sold about 330 tickets before the event and then sold about 40 more at the door. This is only the 3rd year that the PTA has done something like this so to have that many kids out of a graduating class of 568 come, I think it was fabulous! Also, we could not have pulled this off if it weren't for the help and support of all the parents who were willing to come in and run our games, take tickets, clean up food, roam the halls, and just be there. It says a lot about a community when you have parents who are so willing to take such an active part in their children's lives. I am so lucky to be a part of such a community!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Jade's Graduation

I can't believe that my little girl has graduated! This is so bittersweet for me. I am so proud of her and the young woman that she has become this far in her life and can't wait to see what the future will hold for her. I know that she will accomplish great things!
Here is our clan along with my Mom.

Jade's Dad and Grandma Chris from Arizona came for her graduation. She doesn't get to see them very much and I was happy that they were able to come for her.

Here's Jade showing her "real" side!

Jade, Jordan and their Dad Eric.

Jade and Willy

Jade and her friend Bree
Jade and her friend Kaeli (do you think they look alike?) They have been mistaken for twins on more than one occasion which is ironic because Kaeli is a triplet!
Jack & Madeline, having had enough of the picture taking are plotting their escape . . . . Unfortunately Mark and Matt are wise to their plans - - curses foiled again!!

Matt's Graduation

Well he did it and we are just so proud!
Matt graduated from Jordan High on Tuesday. Here are some pics for you to see.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Three kRaZy Weeks!

First I want to say I know, I know it has been three weeks since I last posted, but what a three weeks it has been!!

It all started with a flat tire on Saturday the 10th of May. No big deal right? Mark was meeting some friends for a "Man Trip" and left the car parked in the church parking lot and asked if I would take the tire (already off of the car) and get it fixed sometime that day. Sure not a problem.

Sunday afternoon while driving our jeep we heard a weird noise and decided that it needed to be checked out. We took it to our mechanic and dropped it off to be looked at on Monday.
Monday morning our mechanic called with the bad news that the Jeep had "thrown a rod". Now I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I do know that it's BAD and expen$ive. In our case it meant replacing the engine. It was one of those "can't really afford to do it, but can't really afford NOT to do it things. "

Then, Monday afternoon came and we discovered that our basement was flooded -- of course it was the part that was finished!

At first we couldn't determine where the water was coming from - sprinklers, up from under the house (heaven forbid!) something else?!? It turned out to be a broken hose bib. and the result was that we had to move Jade and Matt out of their rooms ASAP.
Jade had her wisdom teeth out Monday morning and came straight home and went to bed. When I realized how serious the problem was, our conversation went something like this:
Me: "Hey Jade, um. . . . I know that you just had your teeth out and don't feel very good, but we REALLY need to get your dresser out of here, could you get out of bed and help me move it?"

Jade: "Huh, we are moving? Oh, OK, just wake me in a little bit and I can help you. " (She's totally drugged up on pain meds and out of it!)
Me: "No honey I need you to help me NOW. The basement is FLOODING!!"

After that we had to tear out carpet, drywall, and insulation. Fix the problem and then put our rooms back together. We had a deadline since Mark's parents were coming to stay with us in just three short weeks! Not to mention that Jade was camped out in our weight room!
Add to that the craziness of trying to help put together the Grad Night Party for the PTA and you can imagine my lack of sanity!
However, stay tuned, I will be posting pictures from both Jade and Matt's graduations and from our PTA Grad Night party.