Monday, October 31, 2011


This beautiful fall weather has given us lots of opportunities to play in the leaves. And we have plenty of them. (Nine huge trees in the front yard alone will do that.) It's nice that every few days the kids manage to rake up at least some of the leaves.
Peter absolutely loves it and sometimes goes around asking people to please rake the leaves for him.
We must have pretty good leaves or something, because there are usually some neighbor kids involved, too. The more the merrier, I say.

Sometimes I get a little disgusted thinking about what could be in or on all those leaves that they bury themselves in, but I just have to let that thought go and let them enjoy their fun. That's why they have baths, right?

Amelia and her friend, Hallee, hijacked the camera to take a few pictures.

We have just loved this weather. I am dreading the changes that are headed our way especially since we still have 80% of our leaves still on the trees. They will look lovely covered in snow.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cyclocross Race #2

Yesterday, I was able to go to Wheeler Farm and watch Shawn race cyclocross. The race is set up in a circuit, so the riders do however many laps their race is. This is also nice for viewing because you can see so much of the course. Shawn is riding in the rookie league since this is only race #2. I think the rule is that after 4 races or 3 podiums, you have to move up a level. It is pretty fun to watch.This photo doesn't really show how steep this hill was, but you can see all the sand they had to ride through. This was one of the places a lot of riders had to get off and carry their bikes.

A few of the higher level riders managed to bunny hop these barriers, but none of the rookie riders did. I guess Shawn still has to work up to that. No podium this time, but he did have a flat tire (again) and got stuck behind a crash where the guy probably broke his leg. No good.
It looks like a ton of fun - for him. This is one that I just don't know that I will ever do. I just don't have the bike handling skills to make all the turns and maneuvers, and I struggle riding in a pack on a nice paved road. I like my space around me. In cyclocross, there's a lot of trying to cut around and shoot through whenever there's an opening. Plus that whole part about having to sprint up a hill while carrying your bike just doesn't appeal to me that much. We'll see how I feel after next week. I think there's a race in Heber and with the big storm that's predicted, it could be a big, cold, muddy mess. All the more fun, right?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Part 1

One of the problems I have with Halloween is all of the costume pieces that are spread around the house for weeks, despite everything I do to prevent it from happening. This year, the elementary school decided to have the Halloween Parade and parties the Thursday before Halloween. (No school on Friday.) That meant costumes had to be ready to go by the Wednesday night before Halloween. (And yes, sadly, I was still working on costumes late Wednesday night.) This also meant that the costume box has been out and accessible for too long.
Peter has been having lots of fun trying out different looks for the big day, though. This one was a favorite.

He makes a pretty cute duckling, too.
And he's not too bad as a pumpkin either.

One of the times that I asked the girls to clean up all of the costumes and dress ups, they insisted that I come down to see what a good job they had done.
Apparently, there wasn't quite as much clean up going as I had hoped, but it was a fun game, I guess. They all took turns, and asked me to come and see every time. (I kind of stopped being surprised after the first time, but I couldn't let on.) It must have been most fun with Peter because there were lots of pictures on the camera with him (or maybe he just fit inside the box the best.)

Here's to Halloween coming and being wrapped up quickly. (I am such a Halloween scrooge.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

While the cat's away...

On Saturday, while I was in St. George, Samantha called to ask me something. After talking to her, I asked to talk to Shawn and she told me he wasn't there because he had gone to the bank to get some money to buy a new bike. Huh? Really?! So, I called Shawn to get the story. He has been looking for a cyclocross bike for a couple of years but hasn't had any luck finding a good one within a reasonable price range. He decided to hit the ski swaps Saturday morning and someone happened to have one there that met all the criteria: right size, good bike, good price, so he decided to get it. OK.

Well later in the afternoon, I am texted this picture:So he buys a cyclocross bike in the morning, goes to his first race in the afternoon and lands on the podium. Seriously?! Why am I not surprised? If that doesn't help feed the beast I don't know what does.
Apparently, he had a great time. Here are a few more photos from the race.

Yep, there are lots of places where you have to dismount and carry your bike in order to get through. Sometimes it's through sand, sometimes over obstacles.
That's him in the back, getting ready to make his move.

Does he plan to go back next week? Absolutely. And here's the culprit.
I was thinking about this time last year. Shawn was coaching an age group swim team, a Master's swim team, assisting with the high school swim team and doing the prep work to teach skiing, while entering into his busiest season at work as well. This year, he has dropped all of those things with the exception of coaching the high school team every other morning (and the busy season at work.) So I guess he was looking for something to fill all his extra time. So cyclocross is the next phase in the crazy life that Shawn leads. It should be fun to watch.

And he did spend the entire day before doing the fall yard clean up. I wish I had before photos because all of the gardens were overflowing with weeds bigger than our kids. To say the yard has suffered some neglect the past few weeks would be an understatement. Flower beds cleared out:

and pine cones cleaned up:

We should have a barbeque or something to celebrate. Just don't know when we will fit that in.

A Trip to St. George With the Littles

I definitely wanted to get away over UEA. I needed a break from all of the nagging about homework, practicing, getting ready, doing jobs and so on. I was desperate to have some different conversations with my kids, but Shawn wasn't sure if he could get another day off of work, and my older kids weren't totally enthused about the idea of spending too much time in the car. I wasn't enthused about trying to convince people to go with me, so I took the ones that wanted to go as much as I did. (OK, Peter probably didn't care, but he likes to be where I am and leaving him home wasn't an option. Plus, he's pretty good company.) So, it was me and the littles off to St. George while the bigs stayed home with Shawn.

It wasn't a totally relaxing vacation since I had the neediest kids with me, but it was a change and the weather was beautiful. I got to watch several plays that always ended with bows by the cast (and enthusiastic clapping by me, of course.)

There was lots of riding scooters and bikes around the driveway and park.

We had some nice picnics outside on a blanket.

We played a little "Superhero."
We spent lots of time creating masterpieces in chalk all over the driveway.
We went on lizard and rabbit hunts, where we found tons of lizards, not a single rabbit, but a huge caterpillar, (probably 4 or 5 inches long.)

It always cracks me up to see Peter's organizational tendencies. (Probably because it's exactly what I would do.)
We lounged around watching TV. (It's pretty rare for that to happen at home, so that was a real treat.)
We went to the pool a couple of times. (Granted the second time was mostly for the purpose of taking a hot shower because the pilot light had gone off at the house and we had no hot water. I re-lit it, but it wouldn't stay on. No worries, though, we had fun.)

And we found some time to go out for ice-cream, too.
It was a much needed break from the craziness of regular life. I think Jonas and Samantha enjoyed not having me around nagging them all weekend, too. I think they spent the whole time doing next to nothing, which is nice to do sometimes. Either way, I don't think they missed me a bit.