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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cross Country Bob Firman Race - Guest Blogger Brady

Brady is the guest blogger today. These are the comments he left on the team website and I told him I would just use them on the blog (to keep as a record/journal forever).

For a little history so you will understand the beginning of Brady's comment -- Brady decided not to take the bus at 8:30 am because they were not racing until 12:30. We slept in and then I blogged about my stressful week which made us run a little behind. But we made it with time to spare. When we arrived, Taylor (Cherie's son) teased Brady that he missed the race - that the schedule changed and they ran earlier. It gave us a sad jolt ... but, he was just joking with Brady (wise guy *giggle). (Brady's comments) This weeks race is very memorable. I don't know what I did right, but I am very happy with my results. At first, I got kind of mad at Taylor (Bakow) because he said that we were running the second race when we were running the first race, but I'll forgive him.

So, I think I might have held the JV guys from warming up sooner, but I'm sure that they will forgive me also. I don't remember feeling extra excited for this race, I don't remember feeling exceptionally great, but I think one of the things that helped me going was a positive outlook.
I've noticed that there is a difference when you think you are running "against" a group of rivals, vs running "with" a group of friends. You have to think that this is something you choose to do, no one is making you do it, and cross county sure isn't going to change the fate of the world. You should see that you are running because you want to. No one will care if you do bad. No one will punish you because you stop.

When I was running my race, I came to a split second where I thought, man, I probably went out to fast, and now I'm going to suck, if I give up now, everyone will be disappointed in me. Then I realized, why am I thinking this? No one will be mad at me if I give up. I'm running this race for me, not them. Then that's when I felt it. If I feel like I can't stop, I want to stop. If I feel like I can stop, I feel like I can keep going.
I remember Rusty telling us to get out EXTRA strong, otherwise we would have to walk an EXTRA long amount, adding on to our time. The first thing I did was made sure I (quote) "RAN LIKE A MAD MAN" during the beginning of my race.

After I got past the gate part, I started to slow down to a pace that I though was pretty normal for me, but still keeping up the tempo with all the other runners around me. I gave an extra bit of effort going up the hills, and would lengthen my stride like a freaking gazelle on the down hills (passing a good amount of runners.)

I was EXTREMELY surprised when I was coming towards the mile 1 checkpoint. On our mile times we did earlier in the week, the fastest I got was 6:26. On this mile time, I magically managed to get 6:11 (personal record). I when I saw that, I was really shocked. I felt like I might have screwed up my race, used up too much energy for my first mile, and would not have the steam to finish the race successfully (like the first race of the season.)
(Picture of Taylor running)

Remembering that it doesn't matter if I stop, I'm running for me, not anyone else, I decided that all I could possibly hope for was just to go at the pace I was already going. Then I realized that the hill was not to far from the mile 1 checkpoint. So, I decided that I could spare just a little more effort going up the hill, so I did, and passed a few people on my way up. Going down the hill, I decided to lengthen my stride, and use the hill. I was experimenting a little. I lengthen my stride, started to create my own wind, started to pass everyone in front of me, and the whole time my eyes were as wide as plates hoping that I wouldn't die.
I felt that the fast running of the downhill took more then I expected out of me, and I didn't want to feel suicidal again, so I decided next time I went down, I would use it as more of a breath catcher for my big finish. For the second mile (and the third), I know you are supposed to create your own goals, but I already felt slightly exhausted, so I decided to let the goals come to me, like run with a runner who was going to pass me for 5 seconds or so.

I remember turning the corner and seeing the 3 mile checkpoint. I was mentally preparing my self for where I wanted to start sprinting. I also remembered that your sprinting muscles are different from your jogging muscles, so you can be completely exhausted like me, and still have a brilliant finish.
This is one of those times for me where knowledge was the key, because out of all the people in front of me, I was the only one that seemed to know that. So, when I was aligned with the finish, I started booking it. Since no one knew that right there was a good time to start sprinting, I started passing people, and passing people, and passed a guy that passed me 3 times during the race (fro man) I also looked at the clock for the first time of the season I think.

I was EXTRA motivated from it when I saw 20:48. My goal of the season was to beat 21 minutes, and the finish line was just seconds away. When I knew I could beat my season goal, I started to pass a guy that was maybe 15 seconds (no joke) in front of me when I was facing the finish line. I come in the finish looking at the clock at 20:55 (Personal best.)

I was so excited that as soon as I finished, I did something that almost seemed involuntary. I immediately lifted both of my hands in the air, forming two peace signs and shouted "Wooo!"

It also pleased me when the guy at the finish, who puts you in your spot at which you finish, and tells you not to stop, chuckles and says, "Good, job."

That is my very vividly described race for you, and I'm actually sorry, and pleased that you read my whole race reflection, instead of looking at how long it was, and going to a different race reflection. =P kudos to you. ~THE END

Brady also was recognized at the team meeting Monday for doing such a great job. He received a shirt (the top honor) for beating his time and for positive motivation. Here are the comments from Coach Rusty about the meet:

The Warriors are on the map. What a great week for running even though the seasonally warm temperatures continue we continue to see better and better races as the year goes on. Many people were within 30 seconds of their Silverwood time and that is better than an equal effort on this course, in fact for some it might be a minute slower race. Taking that into account we are right where we want to be at this time of the year. Just remember that in two weeks we will be backing off the distance and letting you rest so that you will feel amazing for the final races of the season. I can't wait to see the results from the district meet, but we still have a couple of meets before that happens, so lets learn all we can before the final race of the year.

One of the highlights of this week is the fact that so much of our team is out on the course cheering for one another, and much of the team stays around to support the rest of the competing athletes. I want to say that Taylor (another Taylor - not Bakow) did an outstanding job of cheering on his teammates even though he himself did not have a good race. That is what our team needs to do. It is OK to be frustrated with your own performance, but we are a team and must celebrate and support others who are out competing. I'm proud to say that we do a good job of this. Now for race recaps.

Boys JV: Chris Martinez is now a real threat to get on varsity and I can't wait to see his performance this week. Brady and Taylor B. also ran incredible races as did Cody. Our boys JV was much more competitive, and will only get better as health finds it's way back to our team.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Spaghetti Feed

Friday, September 25th was our opportunity to host the cross country team spaghetti feed. I love the unity the kids have while they load up on carbs. It is the icing on the cake when you can have these parties to build a strong supportive team. I loved how being part of this team helps transition the freshmen into high school in such a positive way.
When I signed up at the beginning of the season, there were only a few slots available. The available slots were later in the season, which worried me that the weather would turn colder and we would have to move the party inside the house. Lucky for us, the weather was beautiful and we could still hold it in the back yard - Yeah!
The sun was shining, the food was great and it turned out to be a lovely evening!
Compared to last year, the kids filled their assignments and brought their assigned food items. Last year we didn't have enough french bread, drinks, salads and desserts. This year I over prepared and there was a ton of food. We even had loaves of french bread left over to send home with some of the kids.
The team has lots of vegetarians and I had to come up with vegetarian spaghetti sauce. I searched the web but ended up experimenting with my basic spaghetti sauce. Onions, bell pepper, carrots, mushrooms, zucchini and the tomatoes and spices from my original sauce. It really turned out yummy. I was excited that I could pull off a vegetarian sauce that was as good as one with meat in it - plus nutritious.

We had 3 crock pots for the sauces, and the noodles I put in an aluminum foil roasting pan on a heated grill. Everything stayed warm. Oh, and I put olive oil over the noodles to keep them from sticking to each other and also some water from cooking them in the bottom of the pan to keep it moist and steamy (not drying out).
There is my handsome man, Brady! He enjoyed having his teammates over for the party!
I rented tables and put blue and gold table clothes on the - our school colors. It looked very festive.

I quickly took a few pictures - they were such good sports!! It makes a mama happy!!
Here are a couple of pictures of Brady and Cherie's Taylor is sitting next to Brady. The sun was shining and eyes are squinty.
After the party a group of kids came into the house while one of the girls played the piano and sang songs. They hung out a while and chatted and had a great time. The party was a success. We had enough yummy food and they loved that I have table and chairs for them.

I'm also VERY thankful for the blessing of sunny weather - since winter is blowing in this week. Thank you Heavenly Father for your many blessings!

I love cross country! Go Warriors!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Motivational Monday - Parable of the Apple Tree

The Parable of the Apple Tree

God gives each of us special gifts as He deems best

Once upon a time there was an apple tree which God had created. It was a young tree without any leaves or fruit. One night the young tree saw the brilliant stars and was very unhappy. He wished for himself to have these sparkling stars on his branches so that he too would be beautiful.

The next morning, God noticed that the tree was unhappy, and He said to him, "Let me make something for you. I will dress you up in a beautiful mantle of green so that you will be beautiful to behold. Then you will not be so unhappy."

But the tree was not content with God's plan. "I do not want a mantle of green, I want stars." The next morning the tree saw that God had not given him stars, but green leaves. And the tree frowned upon it.

Once again the tree said to God, "I want stars," but instead, God gave him beautiful red fruit. The tree was even more unhappy.

The wind saw how unhappy the apple tree was and the wind became unhappy too. The wind blew and tried to set the apple tree free of the leaves and the fruit, but he failed. However, as the wind blew, some of the leaves and fruit fell to the ground.

One piece of fruit broke into two pieces right in the middle. When the tree looked upon the broken fruit, guess what he saw? (Slice the apple in half and show it to the children. When you slice apple horizontal in the middle you will see the shape of a star.) Inside the fruit was the shape of a star!

Many times you and I, like the apple tree in the story, want a special gift like one God has given to someone else. We may even try to give God instructions as to what is best for us. We must remember that God gives each of us special gifts as he deems best. When we rejoice in the gifts he has given us and use them to do his work, then we will shine like the stars.

Father, help us to be content with the work that you do in us, and to use the gifts which you give us to be a blessing to others. Amen.

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. Romans 12:6

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Flat Tire

I had a flat tire today. While driving home from Brady's cross country meet, I hit a pot hole and had a flat tire.

I didn't know it was flat for a while. The car drove fine - it was the noise that tipped me off. Maybe it had just gotten really flat by the time I knew I had a flat tire.

We pulled off to the side of the road and went to look at the tire. Yup, it was flat.

Cherie's son Taylor was with us. Between Brady, Taylor and me ... we were able to change the tire. Yippeeee!

I am always proud of myself when I can do things like that. I am an ULTIMATE woman!!!! Hooray for the single woman who can do it - change a tire - be strong enough to unfasten the bolts.

I did it. I was able to get to Big O to have my tire fixed. I thought while I was there, I would have my two front tires replaced because they needed it and I was going to do it before winter anyway. But, the flat tire - a good back tire - wasn't able to be fixed. The pot hole killed it. It reminds me of the commercial when that pot hole talks to the car and offers it her cell phone with a silly voice. Those darn pot holes.

Anyway.... I ended up with 4 new tire. It's all good... we were safe, we were able to change the tire and I now have four great tires for the winter season.

Stressed?? Who me?????

While I think I thrive on stress and going, going, going ..... which is what made me very successful when I was a career girl... And successful now being self employed... I don't mind setting hefty goals and working toward those deadlines (as long as it's not dieting *snicker).

This week has been a full out sprinting marathon. It's been kicking me in the butt. Here is a little of what has happened this week.

Last Saturday ...
1. Wake up and get Brady to the bus for the cross country meet in Cascade (I didn't go).
2. Can tomatoes.
3. Go to the church for 2 hours to practise the Primary Program.
4. Pick up Brady.
5. Have major issues with my printer and worked on them - until I had to get technical support and it still doesn't print pictures well :o(..
6. Finish preparing my Primary lesson.

Sunday ....
7. Attend Church from 8:30 to 12:00 Noon. Primary Program - which was awesome of course.
8. Make 2 pots of spaghetti sauce - freeze.

Monday ...
9. Clean two houses.
10. Talk to Mom on the phone - late to clean business - Jason and Sharon bring some borrowed items to the business I clean and talk to me for a while... which equals a LATE working night.
Tuesday ...
11. Clean two houses. Came home and mowed the lawn because it's garbage day tomorrow. I missed the telephone call to pick up Brady and Taylor - Cherie stepped in and picked them up for me (Cherie you are my hero).
12. Miss piano lessons because we have back to school night. I honestly don't know why I go - nobody does - maybe 5 parents in each class we went to and probably all the smart students parents. It was a waste of time. 6pm to 8pm.
13. Go to store after back to school night to get some supplies devotional, visiting teaching kit, spaghetti feed, and snacks for cross country - home late.
14. Put together VT general conference kits.

Wednesday ...
15. Clean one house.
16. Go visiting teaching - and then go to one of my primary students house who is getting baptised Saturday and talk to him about baptism and give towel and books.
17. Make 2 more pots of spaghetti sauce - freeze.
18. Put together seminary devotional items.

Thursday ....
19. Take Brady to school with his seminary devotional items.
20. Clean two HUGE houses - and one wanted me to clean their oven ... just a little stress.
21. Make 3 batches of cookies.
22. Take spaghetti out of freezer and make one pot of vegetarian spaghetti for the vegetarians on the team... new recipe hmmmmm.. scary - but turned out yummy and I'll make it again.
23. Make flier with map to our house for the spaghetti feed on Friday.
23. Woke up and put all the spaghetti sauce in crock pots to warm throughout the day.
24. Clean two houses.
25. Run to Albertsons to pick up french bread.
25. Brady forgot to take the fliers with the map and so I have to run them to school.
26. Make 2 more batches of cookies.
27. Receive the tables and chairs I rented, set up 5 eight foot tables and 45 chairs in the back yard - by myself. Put table clothes on them that kept blowing in the wind.
28. Brought out craft tables and card tables to put food on.
29. Cut up fruit, make fruit dip, slice french bread.
30. Cook and cook spaghetti noodles.
31. Set everything out on the table for the feed.
32. Host 50 kids - who ooooohed and aaaaaaahed over the yummy food, tables and chairs, flowers in the back yard. I'll post details later.
33. Cleaned up .... dishes, froze remaining sauce, stacked rented tables and chairs.

34. I'm on snack duty for the meet today.
35. Need to go get dry ice for cooler with otter pops in them and ice for bottled water.
36. Go to the meet until 4 or so pm.
37. Still need to get a sharing time ready for primary tomorrow.

My body hurts and I am one tired cookie. All of those things were in addition to cooking, cleaning, laundry and being a mom. Would you say it's been quite the week?? And tomorrow I get to do it all over again -- but take it a little easier next week and enjoy a restful weekend of General Conference. I really need it.

Yes.... in case you were wondering.... I am enjoying every minute of this journey!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Cross Country Pictures from Silverwood Meet

Here are a few more pictures from Brady's trip to Silverwood.
The team is full of fun, smart, silly young men and young women. They are a hoot!
A couple of the the kids taking an old fashion picture.
Stick em up! The girls are quite va-va-voom.... WOW! It looks like they were having a great time!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sept. Seminary Devotional - "Agency & Accountability"

One of my most favorite thing about going back to school is Seminary Devotionals. Yeah!! Since September doesn't really have a holiday to theme the devotional around, I asked Brady what topic he wanted to do his devotional on.

He grabbed his For the Strength of Youth manual and opened it to the first item - Agency and Accountability. My first place to go for help is She didn't have a link in her file box for Agency and Accountability - but she did have one for Choice and Accountability - cha-ching - great ideas in abundance!!

Here is the link to print out the handout. The handout says: If you were lost, which would you rather have to help you find your way?
A fortune cookie or a compass?
(bottom) Make your own fortune..... What you make of life isn't up to chance, it's up to you. Let the gospel guide you and you're one smart cookie.
It also has this scripture: 2 Nephi 2: 26-27: 26"And the Messiah cometh in the fullness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.
27: Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself." The best thing about this handout is that I didn't have to make anything... just purchase a fortune cookie and toy compass and glue it on. EASY... I liked it! I also had to give play doe. It was a great idea too - from sugardoodle - of course.
The top of the lid says: Make something of yourself.
Bottom of the jar says: Let virtue garnish thy thoughts.....
Around the jar says: With the Savior's help, you shape your own life. Use him as your model. (See 3 Nephi 12:48) 48"Therefore I would that ye should be perfect as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

VT General Conference Kit

Last April I found a really cute idea for a General Conference Kit for the ladies I Visit Teach. Here is a reminder if you'd like to make one too. I made another one for this October's conference. Right now I have 2 new ladies in my route and 1 previous that received a kit in April. It was lots of fun to give last time that I had to make it again - and I'm all about making church fun and uplifting :-D.

Here is a link to my April Kit. Here is a link to the print out for the label from Everyday Food Storage. Just in case you were interested with the details.
This month I added the Visiting Teaching message handout from The Idea Door at this link:
Here are the contents to the bag. Popcorn, Extra Gum, Jergen's lotion (I didn't have time to pop into Bath and Body works - for the yummy stuff) and a dollar store journal.
Here is the bag made up... oooooh look - the gum is upside down.... blushing.. (you can tell I have been rushing this week - no perfection here).
I made 4 kits (I gave one to my partner). I think I have more fun making and giving something each month then my ladies have when they get it. I love "creating" and making the gospel fun...

Anyway.... I wanted to post this as a reminder - if you wanted to make one too! I always love General Conference and can't wait until it's here.

My Nephew Kevin in the Church News.

My Nephew Kevin, and the Serbain missionaries are in the church news. It's very exciting to have a missionary in your family. We are very proud of him and his service to the Serbian people.

If anybody would like to give me their Church News September 12th.... I have a treat for you. Please let me know and I'll send you my address. Thanks! Here is a link to the story too:

Serving with smiles opened doors in Serbia
Missionaries drew distinction for volunteer service during games
Published: Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009

"The opportunity was once-in-a-lifetime," said Elder Ron Densley, who is serving as a humanitarian volunteer with his wife, Annette.

(Kevin is in the back row - 4th person)
Courtesy of Ron and Annette Densley
Some missionaries in the
Slovenia/Croatia Mission, dressed in apparel issued to volunteers, assisted in the 25th University Olympics in Belgrade. Their service drew the attention of organizers and allowed them to share the gospel.

The missionaries volunteered as translators, stat keepers, greeters and floor sweepers. They also performed various tasks such as stocking water coolers, setting up shade tents, smiling, assisting and greeting people.

The missionaries stood out from other volunteers, prompting visitors to ask why the missionaries would leave home at their own expense. Spectators from all over the world loved practicing their English language skills and were surprised to discover how fluent the missionaries were in speaking Serbian, said Elder Densley.

The missionaries proved to be dependable and capable, drawing the attention of Olympic team leaders who came to know many missionaries by name. People commented how the Mormon missionaries were different from other volunteers. They often remarked how they enjoyed seeing the smiling faces and happy countenances of the missionaries.

(Kevin is the 1st person in the back row)
Courtesy of Ron and Annette Densley
Eight missionaries and one senior missionary couple were selected in the first round of interviews to serve as volunteers in the 25th University Olympics

One young lady from Russia spotted the missionary name tags with delight. She had been a foreign exchange student in Idaho, living with a Latter-day Saint family where the father was the bishop. She accompanied the missionaries to Church each Sunday.

A few copies of the Book of Mormon were given out. One young lady asked if she could attend Church meetings.

In Serbia, missionaries find street contacting to be difficult and seldom productive. Few take the time to stop to hear the gospel.

"What a refreshing change to have people ask us to hear about the message of the gospel," Elder Densley said.

For missionaries, the 2009 University Olympics afforded opportunities to share the gospel and plant gospel seeds in the hearts of people from around the world in ways that are seldom experienced.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Metric Monsters

My very clever son was given an assignment in one of his classes to make a MONSTER from re-cycled materials. Then he was to measure it using the metric system. Here is what Brady came up with for his Metric Monster.
I saved all sorts of fun materials for him to use .... but he also was keeping things - because he had a design in mind. He's very creative. It's REALLY cute.
The box is a Kleenex box. Teeth and eyes are from a paper plate. The tongue is from a Doritos bag, the crown is from a toilet paper tube. Isn't that clever? He spray painted the box - after trying to cover it with scrapbook paper (which really frustrated him). Spray painting was much easier. And luckily I already had some!
Then he added some arms/hands. Isn't it darling?
Grrrrrrrrrr! I'm gonna eat you! Hissssssss!

I Won!

I love winning give aways. My latest win was from Blue Cricket Designs. She found some wonderful business card holders that were monogrammed. Being the clever girl she is, she fixed them with cute scrapbook paper.
It's a nice metal case - very sturdy and classy!
It's just what I needed to look more professional as I whip out my business card - verses digging through my wallet.
Now my business card is ready to be given out - very professional. (personal information blocked of course!).

Monday, September 21, 2009

Motivational Monday - "Walk Tall, You're a Daughter of God

I love this song! It is one of my favorites - since I was a teenager. Even though I was a very rebellious teenager .... there were certain things that helped me feel the spirit and know that this is where I belong - a member of His church here on earth. I am truly a Daughter of God.

Walk Tall, You're a Daughter of God

Right now I have a prayer deep within my heart,
A prayer for each of you there is a special part.
That you remember who you are and Him who lives above.
Please seek for Him and live His way; You'll feel his love.

Walk Tall, you're a daughter, a child of God.
Be strong and remember who you are.
Try to understand,you're part of His great plan.
He's closer than you know. Reach up, He'll take your hand.

Long before the time you can remember,
Our Father held you in his arms so tender.
Those loving arms released you as He sent you down to earth.
He said, "My child, I love you. Don't forget your great worth."

Walk Tall, you're a daughter, a child of God.
Be strong and remember who you are.
Try to understand,you're part of His great plan.
He's closer than you know. Reach up, He'll take your hand.

This life on earth we knew would not be easy.
At times we lose our way, His path we may not see.
But please remember always that you are not alone.
He'll take your hand. He loves you! He will guide you home.

Walk Tall, you're a daughter, a child of God.
Be strong and remember who you are.
Try to understand,you're part of His great plan.
He's closer than you know. Reach up, He'll take your hand.

Friday, September 18, 2009

What a Crazy Kid!

This is Brady's sophomore picture. He's such a handsome kid and a great one too! His hair was getting VERY long and curly. Finally, we found the time to get it cut. It's tough when he has practise every evening and cross country meets on the weekends. I've been wanting to clean up his neck line for weeks... but he won't let me. We FINALLY got him into the hair dressers and got it cut.

I love it when his hair is cut, cleaned up and styled so nicely. For a while now he has wanted to get his hair dyed blonde. This is a Mom shaking her head...... Should I let him? OK... call me the nicest Mom on the block. We made an appointment to come in the next day (there wasn't time before closing to do it the same day of the hair cut).

Brady picked out a color and he forged ahead into the unknown.
She starts to put the dye in his hair. No turning back now. Are you laughing yet? I am seriously rolling on the floor laughing at my silly kid. I'm glad that I had my camera - aren't you?
You look soooo lovely!
After burning his hair off with the heat from the dye and the blow dryer it's time to get it washed off and see what he is going to look like...
They wash it off with a purple shampoo to help prevent the blonde hair to not look brassy. I thought I'd get the purple tent to the shampoo ..... but you can't see it. Here he is..... ta dah!
Here he is with a new look.... silly blonde locks of hair. I couldn't understand why she only did the top .... and I asked before he went under the blow dryer. She said that they do it in stages?? But, she didn't do anymore throughout his hair... And there are lines of his regular color throughout the top of his hair... I think he wanted it all to be blonde not streaked.... but, it's all good....
He's pretty happy to have a blonde hair.
I like the spiky up lift to his hair. A new look with freshly cut hair and now with blonde streaks.
Here is another look. Such a silly kid.... but it does grow out. I wonder if he'll want to finish the rest of his hair or ever do it again. I guess we'll find out after a day of school... Brady, you are crazy!


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