Thursday, June 19, 2014

Just Keep Running

So I recently learned after a lifetime of hating it that I actually really do like to run.  It's weird because up until just really really recently I could only run like a quarter of a mile before dying.  I really don't know what changed, but something did.  Now if only I could get my knees to agree that running is good for me, I might do some long runs.  For now here are two I did the last two months.

The first was an easy, non competitive fun run I did with my friends.  I wasn't sure if I would like it or if it would be worth it because it doesn't really make sense in my brain to do anything if there isn't an edge of competitiveness in it.  That might be an over exaggeration but only slightly.  

But with nearly missing the race due to traffic, driving over medians on exit ramps, two fun friends that were totally into getting dressed up and all the laughter we share it really was fun!

Then through a friend that had an extra ticket I got a chance to run the Rugged Maniac.   Then she decided to not run either and I spent the evening trying to convince someone, ANYONE to run with me, so the ticket wouldn't go to waste. 

Wesley finally agreed on the condition that I stayed with him during the run.
(My sad competitive brain doesn't get why you would need to have someone running next to you while giving it your all but I guess other people like people....or something.)  ;)

The morning of the race.  Wes looks thrilled...

 Before the race.

 Wesley at the bottom of the slide at the end.

We survived!
 It was pretty intense.  I felt like I was going to die at the end and kept wondering if my heart would hold out.  But I did finish just 8 minutes slower than the fastest girl so of course it was worth it.

I still carry my battle wounds on my arm.
 Sadly how I got these is a really pathetic, uninteresting story.

Now I'm addicted to these events and keep looking for more I could possibly do.  

Camping and Hiking

We went hiking at the beginning of May on the Vernonia-Banks Trail,  for what was supposed to be a RS midweek activity that included the men and kids but then actually ended up being just our family.  We didn't even end up hiking far and it really isn't worth noting except some of the pictures are too good not to post.

I love this picture of him!

Then for Memorial Day Weekend we went camping at Trillium Lake.  

I don't really have much to say about it so I'll just hit the main points.

People from church were camping with us.

The kids had fun.

The parents worked before, during and after camping.

The kids didn't sleep well while camping.

The parents didn't either.  

Here are the pictures from it.

Kinsley had her birthday while we were camping so we made dutch oven cupcakes.   

The kids had fun and built memories.  
So I guess it was worth it.

Novalee's Spring

Novalee's been busy this Spring.

She had a Reading Resturant at her school.  All the kids dressed up as waiters and they came around and brought menus with books they can read to the parents.  The parents picked the book they wanted to hear and the kids read them to them.  It was adorable.  

Novalee replanted her first tree.

She has continued her love of writing.  She has a gazillion journals that she is always drawing in or writing in.  She also loves to leave notes for her family.  The other morning she woke me up at like 6:30am just to give me a note that went something like this, "I love daddy...
I love mommy...
I love Jared...
I love Sadie...
I love Kinsley...
I love Hyrum." 

She bridged to a Brownie in girl scouts!  I'm super proud of her for this.  Maybe part of me is living through her on this one because I used to think it would be cool to be a girl scout.  But really what is the neatest part is that she has blossomed so much since joining girl scouts.  She is so much more confident.  

Here she is giving her bridging statement.

She is also still doing gymnastics.  I took a picture of her the other day while she was still in her gymnastics leotard but she was mad she couldn't take a selfie and refused to actually look at the camera and made me promise and swear that I would immediately delete the pictures and not put them on Facebook.  :)  


Easter was fun.  

We did the whole community egg hunt this year for the first time.  It was actually fun as far as egg hunts go.

 We bumped into friends of ours.  They have 5 boys and one girl.  I'm pretty sure Jared wishes he was part of their family.  

Some of the parents were super competitive and were yelling at their kids to hurry and grab a ton of eggs.  They were kind embarrassing to watch actually.  "Just get them!  JUST grab that egg right there!  You don't need to just get boy colors!"  Rude right? (Yes, I'm totally being judgey right now).  It didn't really work, the kids just froze and were slower.  So then the REAL competitive mom (me) could in my most loving and encouraging voice with just a hint of excitement get my kids to grab a ton.  
 Kinsley did well for her first time really egg hunting but check out Sadie!  She got the most out of all the kids.  Oh yeah, super proud moment!  (It might have helped that she had a competitive edge since she is at the end of the age bracket for that section). 

 Later that afternoon our family came over for dinner.  It was the first time we've had the WHOLE family over to our house for a dinner.  I was pretty worried about the whole thing going to pot.  I even tried perfecting my mother in-laws famous dinner rolls which failed over and over again throughout the week leading up to the dinner. Everything turned out fine.

All the cousins together.  We used to take pictures like this with our Texas cousins because we were all about the same age.  It's kind of cool to repeat that with my sister's kids.

The WHOLE group.

Christine my step-mom with Hyrum.  She played with him pretty much the entire night which made hosting so much easier.

Three of us sibs together. 

The next morning was Easter Sunday. The kids all woke up to full baskets!  Lucky little ducks.

Hyrum's first Easter.  
(I miss my long hair).

Then the family egg hunt.  I guess in Arizona the Easter bunny hides the eggs instead of lhow it goes in Oregon where the parents hide the eggs.  That was a learning curve for me the first couple of years being married to an Arizonian.  (Yes, I realize that not all Oregonians and Arizonians do it the same).

And that was Easter.  

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Wood Pallet Garden Fence

We have a dog. 

He is a chewer.

Last year we had our first real garden.

  We loved it!   

But our dog, the chewer, and plants don't mix.

Wes and I knew that we would need to build some sort of a fence so that our garden would actually have any chance at survival.

We had to think for a while on how to afford a fence because money has been tight.  Thank you taxes.

I really love the phrase, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without," if only I could ever remember it without having to look it up on the internet...saying phrases correctly isn't my thing.  :)  I also like the idea of repurposing things.. 

Anyways, I decided to make the fence using wood pallets since company's just toss them all the time.  So I started scavenging for wood pallets.  Those things are a beast to rip apart by the way.  I probably looked more like the crazy neighbor lady than I normally do, with my sledge hammer and circular saw trying to get those babies apart.  

We also were given some wood and other types of supplies from family and friends.  A BIG sincere thank you to all of you who offered something or another to get this fence up.  We really appreciate it.  We were able to spend significantly less because of it.   

I usually like to do projects ALL by myself.

I'm not a team player.  Sad, I know.

But Wes and I worked together on this one because this was kind of intimidating for me.

I dug all the post holes.

Wes cut all the posts and cemented them in.  That was one of the parts I was worried about.  I kind of think this part has to be exact in order for the rest of it to actually come together.

Wes is that kind of man.  Exact.

After taking apart all the wood pallets I cut all of them to size and the wood our neighbor donated to the project as well.  I love using this saw (I'm not sure what it is called, miter?) over the circular saw.  I feel like I should get a medal every time I use the circular saw and don't cut my arm off.  :)

 Then Wes showed me how to put the brackets up and I cut the horizontal 2X4s and got the fence ready for the pallets/planks/siding.

Last Friday and Saturday I started adding the siding.  
 I worked until it was dusk on Saturday to get it done.  I hate leaving projects half done and I might have been tempted to finish it on Sunday.

The gate was another part that I had no idea how to make.  I procrastinated it for days.  I got some pointers from Wes.  But I was still nervous about it and was about to call him at work and ask him if he would just make it instead of doing the other projects he has planned.  But then today I decided to try.
I'm glad I did because it was actually not too hard and came together pretty quickly.

Here it is all finished!
If you can't tell I am pretty proud of how it turned out.

  I sort of love it in fact!  

We were going to have the kids paint it all sorts of wild colors but I'm sort of loving the old and new wood look and might just seal it with a transparent sealant.  

I can't wait to start planting!