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September, 2011:

Experience Should Count For Something

I spent my ENTIRE childhood camping. Memorial Day weekend, my family moved out to the lake/campground in our camper. Labor Day weekend, we came home. We were with a bunch of other families that camped all summer, too. It was awesome. The parents went to work during the day while us kids did whatever it is kids do. In our case, we got up at 5:30 a.m., hopped in the bed of my cousin’s pickup truck and walked beans until noon. Then we went back to the lake and played all day. Boating, swimming, skiing, wakeboarding. Amazingly enough, we were responsible for feeding ourselves, making fires to cook food, entertaining ourselves with volleyball and softball and fishing. We had to catch and clean fish. We slept outside by the fires some nights even though we had comfy campers right next to us. Our parents were awesome to trust us and to give us that responsibility.

Now that I’m a Girl Scout Brownie Troop Co-Leader, we want to take the girls camping. Before we can do that, you know what I have to do tomorrow? Spend an entire day, from 8-5:00 p.m., getting “trained” on camping and cooking.

No, I’m not joking. They won’t let me “test out” of the class. I’m pretty sure I could TEACH the class. And I’m pretty sure I’d rather be doing a bazillion things on a beautiful first Saturday in October . . . like watching Princess’ soccer game, going on a bike ride with the family, eating out on the deck, going on a hike. Instead, I get to “learn” how to camp and cook safely outdoors. The kicker? We’re learning how to cook outdoors and we don’t even get to cook our own lunch on a fire! We have to bring a sack lunch. That’s just wrong.

The bonus is that¬†I only have to do the training once for the rest of my Girl Scout Leader career. I’ll grin and bear it. I’ll be happy to be outside on a beautiful day in Garden of the Gods with some other ladies who love leading their Girl Scout troops. But underneath, I’ll be a bit annoyed all day.

Let The Riding Begin

Now that cross country is officially over for both kiddos, Dude has decided he wants to ride bike to school. I wrote about that in an earlier post. I kinda thought he might change his mind. Um – nope. On days when he doesn’t need to take his trumpet, he’s been on his bike – which means I’ve been on my bike, too.

Last Friday was the first day since cross country ended that it wasn’t raining and he didn’t need his trumpet – so we took off on our bikes when Hubby and Princess left for the bus. I rode almost the whole way with him, but I left him at the top of the last hill before school. First, I’m pretty sure he didn’t want me riding into school with him ūüėČ Second, I know for certain that the last thing I wanted to do was ride down the ginormous hill so I could turn around and ride back up it again! Got my 5 mile ride in that morning. Felt good – but I must say, the ride home is way more difficult than the ride to school. Same hills to go up and down, but on the way home, it’s uphill the whole way, even when you’re going down hills. Coloradans know what I mean :-) Friday was my mani/pedi day with QT, so Hubby picked Dude up in the car and drove them home and I avoided the 6-mile round trip for a second time in one day.

Today, we did it again. I left him at the top of the same hill and headed home. Dang it’s a difficult ride for an out-0f-shape not quite forty year old mom! Dude wants to ride home today. I told him I’d meet him at the gate to school. However, I think I might be there in the car. My legs are not ready to do that ride twice in one day yet, so I have a plan. I have to drop off 2 cases of water and 2 cases of Gatorade at school this week for elementary field day. I’m thinking today around 3:00 p.m. is as good a time as any to do that . . . and it’ll just so happen that Dude will throw his bike in the back of the FunRunner and get a ride home.

Lazy? Yes. Smart? Yes. Willing to ride both ways twice later this week? Yes.

Awesomeness

My family rocks! So I was a little bummed last week on my birthday because I was booked from morning until night with work, cross country practice, soccer practice, and Boy Scout meetings. Basically I was pouting because of my non-event birthday.

QT felt bad for me, so we scheduled manicures and pedicures for Friday the 23rd at 3:00 p.m. A couple hours of “us” time to celebrate our 39ths that happened earlier in the week and possibly a drink and appetizers afterward.

We finished at 6:15 and decided to throw in the towel on drinks and appetizers so QT could hang out with her mom and aunt who were here for the weekend.

I get home, looking forward to relaxing with the fam and watching a movie. Lo and behold . . . I walk into the house and SURPRISE! They threw a surprise party for me, and of course QT was in on it :-)

Hubby and the kiddos had decorated the house as a Cruise Ship to Nowhere and had all kinds of yummy food ready for everyone to snack on and put on the grill. The individual lava cakes for dessert were awesome as usual!

It was my first surprise party every . . . and I loved it! I still can’t believe that Dude and Princess didn’t spill the beans at some point – Hubby said they’d been planning it for over a month!

What an awesome family I have :-)

When Pigtails Fly

I’m not sure there are many things out there sports-related cuter than an 8-year old playing soccer in pigtails. I’ll let you be the judge. I just hope she wants me to put pigtails in her hair every Saturday before soccer!

First we have the “watching the game, ready to play with freshly combed and curled pigtails” look

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Next up, the “minor flop of the pigtails while I change direction and fake out the other team” look

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Here we have the “look at the freaky sticking straight out side of my head ponytail while I move the other way with the ball” look

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This is the “I ran so fast to get here that my pigtails are still flying straight back” look

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Next up, “the how the hell do pigtails stick straight out anyway” look

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And finally, the “keep your eyes, not your backside, on the ball pigails flying high” look

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Landsharks Run Fast

***The photos suck. It was cloudy and rainy. My lens has a dark spot in the middle that I can’t remove. My battery was dying.***

Yesterday was Princess’s first LandShark meet – and please do NOT confuse this with track or cross country – it is LANDSHARKS! Just ask her.

What (pause for dramatic effect) EVER! It is cross country for elementary kids . . . and can I say that I haven’t seen many things cuter than 75 2nd and 3rd grade boys and girls take off running a 1 mile cross country race! OMG! The boys . . . all serious – black shorts, white socks, and tennies – sprinting off the line determined to be the first one around the first turn. The girls . . . all HILARIOUS – orange shirt, whatever color shorts/skirt/skort/capris/leggings they picked out that day, whatever color socks/leg warmers/knee highs they picked out that day, whatever color of sparkly, flashing tennies they could convince mom to purchase at the store, and any variety of pigtail/pony tail/bob/head band/hair band/hair pretty/all of the above they decide to put in their hair that day – jogging leisurely while bopping their heads side to side chatting with their friends about OMG I have no idea what but your rainbow colored knee-highs match your purple flashing shoes and orange LandSharks shirt perfectly!

 

A gaggle of kiddos :-) The boys start first, then the girls start 1 minute later.

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Princess is in 3rd grade, so of course she ran in the 2nd and 3rd grade group. She did WAY better than I thought she would. Not to undersell her abilities, but watching her at practice did not give me high hopes that my little Princess had found her calling as a cross country runner! She is, afterall, my child. I run only when chased.

 

My Princess enjoying her first cross country –¬†er LandSharks – meet. Floppy pigtails and all.

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She did AWESOME! She finished fourth in her school’s group out of about 15 girls and she finished in the top 20 of all the¬†girls from all the schools, probably about 75 kiddos. So not bad at all :-) She was even smiling and SPRINTING when she crossed the finish line – she ran about a 9-minute mile :-)

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She got her snack and bottle of water, and of course participation ribbon (grrrrrrrrr . . . that’s a whole other post!).

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Queen Taunya and I were chatting with her about how she did awesome! Then we teased her a little because she had ASSURED us that she was the 3rd fastest girl runner. I did not believe her. Turns out, she was the 4th fastest girl runner, so I had to poke her a bit. She said “Well, I wasn’t running my FASTEST!” Queen Taunya asked her why not, and Princess said “I dunno. It’s not like it’s a RACE or something!”

Um, ya it is, Princess :-) When there’s a start line, a finish line, and a ginormous digital clock timer thing, I’m pretty sure it’s a race. Turns out she was just setting a baseline, so she could show improvement over the next 2 meets ūüėČ OK – ya – sure – I believe ya.

So all in all, Princess had an awesome first LandSharks meet, and we had a fun time watching her.

Dude, on the other hand, had a TOTALLY different experience at her meet. He’s working on his Athletics merit badge for Boy Scouts. Since he’s just started cross country this year, he chose that as his sport, and one of the requirments is that he organize a cross country race or officiate at a meet. So he volunteered to be a rabbit at Princess’s LandSharks meet. One thing he hadn’t thought through before volunteering for that on the previous Wednesday was that her meet was 30 minutes after his cross country practice got over. Turns out, his practice yesterday was one of the hardest they’ve had – needless to say, he was TIRED!

He got to rabbit for Keira’s group – so he got a good 30 yard head start and had to run another mile, leading the kids around the track. He made it, but he sure was tired! I can’t imagine that he was thinking anything other than “What the HELL was I thinking to volunteer for this!” :-)

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Then he got to rabbit the¬†4th-6th grade¬†kids on their race. They had to do 2 laps, and he was tired and¬†didn’t want to get beat, since he’s supposed to be leading and all, so he rode his bike for that one. Turns out, his seat was loose and had fallen way down, so he couldn’t even sit and pedal well – he tried standing, but that got too tiring on the bumpy field grass. At one point, we were certain the lead runner was going to pass him! But Dude picked up the pace the 2nd lap and finished¬†just far¬†enough ahead of the first runner to not be embarrassed¬†:-) Again, I see the look on his face asking what the hell he was thinking!

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He was so exhausted that one of the high school kids was the rabbit for the kids who were running the long¬† last race. Later he said “After I got done riding my bike, I kinda felt like I wanted to throw up a little.” Ahhhhhhhh – to have worked out so hard for the first time in your life to feel like you wanted to hurl! Just wait until you make a coach mad with a bad team effort and you all get to run sprints for an hour to show him that “Yes! I do want to play! I will put forth the effort I am capable of!” :-)

So he gets a checkmark in the merit badge box, and a mental checkmark to never, ever volunteer to be the rabbit again, especially after a hard 2-hour practice!

Individual Chicken Pot Pie

Who says I can’t cook? When my Princess comes home and says “Mom. I REALLY want chicken pot pie for dinner” I am the sort of person who hops to it and makes it happen – and I do it from scratch!

OK – I don’t really hop to and make whatever my kiddos want, but pot pie did sound good. And I don’t really make much from scratch; however, the pot pie is quite a bit from scratch . . . I cut the carrotts, celery, and onions . . . cooked and cut the chicken . . . made the creamy sauce stuff . . . assembled all of it in the appropriate size bowls . . . and cut a and formed premade pie crust onto the top (no, I do not make pie crust from scratch!).

I’d have to say they turned out pretty darn well . . . they got a 2-thumbs up anyway :-)

The yummola filling…

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Ready for the oven

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Golden brown out of the oven…

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¬†Ready to eat – mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…

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When I Grow Up And Have A Little Girl – Part 5 of 5

A school project provides a glimpse into some of¬†my 8 year old Princess’ wants¬†:-)

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When I Grow Up And Have A Little Girl – Part 4 of 5

A school project provides a glimpse into some of¬†my 8 year old Princess’ wants¬†:-)lg04

When I Grow Up And Have A Little Girl – Part 3 of 5

A school project provides a glimpse into some of¬†my 8 year old Princess’ wants¬†:-)lg03

When I Grow Up And Have A Little Girl – Part 2 of 5

A school project provides a glimpse into some of¬†my 8 year old Princess’ wants¬†:-)lg02