Wednesday, June 24, 2009

One more week

Thing One is going on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He will go where ever he is asked to go, live there, serve the people there and teach the gospel. T1 will be receiving his "call" in about a week and we want to know your guess...

Where do you think he will go?

He could literally go anywhere in the world!!!


New Zealand?






Please submit your guess in the comments!

Inquiring minds want to know.....

Saturday, June 20, 2009

It's the Little things that really count!

Isn't it those little unimportant things that make all the difference anyway?

I've been tagged.

I don't remember how I found her but I love everydayMOM. Go here. She is a fantastic writer and wonderful mother of 3.2 children (of course that number will change over the next 6-7 months!) everydayMOM tagged me.

The game goes as follows:

* List Six Unimportant Things That Make You Happy
* Mention and link to the person who tagged you
* Tag six of your favorite bloggers to play along

Unimportant Things That Make Me Happy

1. Being able to wear my contact lenses after 2 weeks of severe allergies. (Thank you rain!)
2. Sunshine. (Yeah, I'm a contradiction to the core.)
3. Surprise cleaning done by a child.
4. Climbing a hill (any size) on my bike without stopping or dying.
5. Food (I know that seems pretty important. But not when it comes to the content and amounts that I wish for.)
6. My kids wanting to spend time with me. (and liking it)

What makes you happy?
Romper Bomper Stomper Boo, Tell Me Tell Me Tell Me Do, Have all my friends had fun at play? I see:

Anna Lisa
Ryan Ashley

What? It's like a bakers dozen! Seven for the price of six!

And for an extra special treat... Dawn! (Hi Mom! Since you don't have a blog, will you please put yours in the comments?)

I can't wait to find out what little things make a difference for you!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Training for Success

It's been awhile since I shared any Kleetus adventures with you. Don't worry, I still love my bike and I still ride and I am still training for the STP.

The STP aka Seattle to Portland. 204 miles of sweat and possibly tears, pain and possibly more pain, smiles and possibly scowling, moaning and possibly a few woo hoo's.

This is without a doubt the biggest thing I have ever trained for physically.

I'm nervous. But as I have so often quoted to others, "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." Doctrine & Covenants 38:30

This is something I believe. Therefore, I am trying to practice whenever I can. Okay, maybe not whenever I can, training isn't always easy but once you force yourself to get on the bike it is almost always fun.

Last night for instance we went on a group ride in Stanwood. They meet at a local bike shop or in the language of the cyclist: LBS and then there are a few different groups that separate and go from there.

I was a little uncomfortable at first. You know, when you're the new guy... but guess what? Everybody was really friendly! They introduced themselves and practiced remembering our names and liked asking Barry about his plans to serve a church mission this fall.

Then lo and behold who should pull up with their bikes but our neighbors from down the street. Cycle Guy noticed a long time ago that these people Fred and Wilma were cyclists because whenever the garage is open you can see a number of bikes in there tempting him, calling him, willing him to come closer.

We stuck with them and the group they were with. At one point CG and Thing 1 took off ahead to see if they could catch up with the breakaway group. It was the coolest thing to see the two of them take off like that. One right behind the other challenging the wind to even try to slow them down. I'm such a mom... all I could do was grin with pride.

As soon as my guys caught up with them the other group decided they were going to ride some optional training hills and told CG and T1 the route ahead. So they were left way out in front with no one else around. They ended up riding in circles until the rest of the group caught up with them.

One of the things I've been practicing is climbing hills. Hills are not my friends. (Okay so that's only partly true... I love to go down them. Well.... that's only partially true too. I love to go down them at a controlled speed.)

Anyway. Hills. There was only one real hill climb on the ride last night. I'd like to share with you the play by play heard from the booth.

Thing 1 and Jenny together at the bottom of the Pyrenees. Thing 1 is off the seat right away punching the pedals. Jenny usually waits a bit before standing. You know, Al, it wasn't until recently that we ever even saw Jenny get up out of the saddle. This shows a great amount of self control, balance and strength. She's getting it into gear, give her a few meters...

POW! There she goes, she's out of the seat! Just look at that cadence, Bob! I don't know how she's going to keep this up. Boy is she working to get Kleetus up the mountain. And Kleetus is right there with her, with every pedal stroke he plows forward daring her to push harder. Legs burning, heart pounding, can she do it? Can she stick it out to the top. Wait, she's down... back in the saddle, but it's okay, they're still moving. -Jenny and Kleetus, what an unbeatable team!

Oh, I didn't tell you that Bob Roll and Al Trautwig were there commentating?

It was only an hour later that my breathing slowed back to normal and Kleetus beamed with pride for the rest of the night. He had never been among the first at the top of a hill before. I was happy to give him his moment.

After returning to the LBS (remember? That's the local bike shop.) We learned that everybody likes to gather at a local pizza place afterward. (shouldn't that be the LPP?) Last night was officially the 1st night of summer so after a quick call to the other kids at home and a promise to bring them some leftovers we were off to replace every calorie we burned off and about 6 times more.

It was great! The pizza was the best I've ever had. Jimmy's Pizza in Stanwood Washington. You MUST try it! We sat with our neighbors and got to know them a little bit. I really hope that Fred and Cycle Guy will be able to go out on some rides together. I love to ride with him, but I totally slow him down and it would be so cool if he had a cycle buddy that could push him a little.

Have you noticed that when I ride I think I deserve something yummy? AND I eat it.

Miles ridden: 15
Calories burned: about 800
Pizza Consumed: 3 pieces
Calories replaced: 1300 (Yup, that's an overage)
Hills conquered: 1

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Art of the Hurl

I have a couple of bloggy friends who have taken the art of the give-away to a new level. Tanielle and Xazmin have a give-away going on like you've never seen before. Tanielle is expecting baby #5 and is having a real time trying to get off the porcelain telephone. Her children actually keep track of her cookie tossing episodes.

Well, here's the funny part: She is having a 100th throw-up give away. She is giving away a barf bag decorated and filled by Tanielle the Queen of Lunch Launching herself. No! Not filled with puke! Nasty, what were you thinking?

She is not only the Queen of launched lunches but also the Queen of Craft Cuteness. Pictures I've seen of her home look like she lives in a Boutique and every time she has a give away I come away with aching fingers from excessive crossing. Trust me you want to click on her name Tanielle of Polka Dot Daisy and enter yourself to win the coveted Barf Bag.

Now that Hurling is on my mind I'd like to share with you some of my Cookie Tossing experiences and also send you to my sisters blog to read about her stories of extensive vacation vomit.

I know that I was a consistent childhood honker and when I was expecting my youngest (9 yrs ago) my 6 year old always stood in the bathroom door with a look of loving concern on her brow. But I'm going to share with you some more recent memories.

We'll call them Migraine Moments.

Migraine Moments bring with them a motion sickness that requires no actual physical motion. No. As long as someone somewhere in the world is moving, if I'm working on building a migraine then that motion will make me sick.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone.

Wonderful book. Exciting movie. Horrible motion filled Quidditch scenes. You may think that movie was not in 3D but my brain very clearly remembers Scarlet robed wizards flying their brooms through the screen and slamming into my cerebral vortex.

If I catch it soon enough, I can usually kill a migraine with some caffeine and ibuprofen. So I dragged myself down to concessions for a large pop. Anything with caffeine would do. Since I had used the last of my cash to get the kids and I into the movie I would have to use my debit card. Their ATM's were down and I was desperate. A manager kindly understood my plight and gave me a $5.00 gift certificate for a drink. I took my pill and guzzled the soda but on the drive home that empty cup was used as a different kind of receptacle. Yes, I am so skilled at food reversal that I was driving and tossing cookies at the same time. And from the backseat I heard a young voice say, "Mom, are you throwing up?"


I have a friend named Heather who is a wonderful decorator and mother. We decided to take a trip to Ikea for some shopping and ideas. At about lunch time my head started to hurt so I bought a Coke and took some Ibuprofen.

Lunch at Ikea is amazing. We had Swedish Meatballs and new potatoes with Lingon Berries. That just might be my favorite thing about Ikea. But then there are the frames, furniture, dishes, kitchen gadgets, toys, ...hmmm I love it all.

Still, with a little nagging in my head I thought I would be fine on the 2 hour ride home. Soon I found myself emptying a shopping bag to hold on my lap. Sweating. Turning on the AC. And... just as we took the exit into our own fair city; losing the lovely lunch I had so happily ingested only 2 short hours earlier. Luckily the bag had no holes and Heather quickly pulled into a parking lot so I could get my bearings.

My children have become accustomed to pulling over to the side of the road. And frantically searching the car for something disposable and empty to give Mom. But the thing I hate the most about my history of public puking is that those same loving children can now mimic the disturbing din of dismissal that they hear at those notorious times and think it's quite hilarious to relive.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Who is your watchdog?

I need some advice.

We would like to put some parental controls on our computer.

My sister recommended K9. I looked into it and it looks great. Very specific controls available where you don't just lock out anything with a certain word or picture but it is kept up to date with all kinds of things.

I was sold.

But guess what? They have not updated the program to work with 64 bit computers and the 32 bit won't work on a 64 bit computer.

Their working on it...

The one thing I want most right now is the capability to have the internet go off or inaccessible after a certain time of night.

We have tried parental controls before and were locked out of so many things that we may as well have turned off the internet all together.

So this is where I need you.

What do you use?

I'm awaiting your answer.

So, I'll just be sitting here watching for comments and advice from my virtual world of which you are a part. I'm so glad you are.

While you gather your thoughts here are some pictures of what I did this week. (it was a good one and I hope the weather will hold out this week while the rest of the kids finish school for the summer!)There he is. One in a million!
I had to use some bribery, (Cycle Guy let him use the Madone!)
And I got to have a ride with my boy while the others were still in school. On Friday Mike and I went 67 miles!!!
It was awesome! The weather was ideal.
There were a few dogs that we weren't sure would
stay on the other side of their invisible fence,
but they did and it was a blast!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Oh, Who are the People in Your Neighborhood

Do you love where you live? What do you like about it?
I love where I live. The trees, the rivers, the lakes, the friendly people, and plenty of unusual folks who think differently than I do.

Washington is just a great place to live.

Here are a few things that make life in the greater Seattle area interesting:

~Voted worst dressed in the nation. (all you have to do is spend one day in the city to believe that. For one thing, we wear thick socks and hiking boots year round ~sometimes the hiking boots are exchanged for sandals but the thick socks remain.)

~Drivers are so polite that you can end up waiting through 16 green lights while the car in front of you lets 25 cars out of the Burger King parking lot in front of him. Hey, maybe next time I'll just turn at the corner before BK and come out of the parking lot, I might bring that down to 12 green lights to get out of town.

~We can easily have 90 days without seeing the sun. They say it's there -unlike Alaska where the sun literally never comes up, but I'm not sure I believe them.

~Trees. Ahh the trees, big beautiful glorious trees.

~Rain. When Coolio was 3 he used to sing, "It's raining it's pouring...oh just ignore it." Which is what we do, because if we didn't we would never do anything.

~The smell of coffee. I have never even tasted the stuff but it is everywhere and the scent has really grown on me.

~Bicycling. The bike trails are awesome and it's very rare for a main road not to have a bike lane.

~Music. Jimi Hendrix, Heart, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Sound Garden. Yup, they all started here. Okay, it doesn't mean I like them all, but they came from here.

~Fireworks. Legal. Just cross the freeway onto the Reservation and you can get any type of firepower you desire. It's a free for all and starting in June it sounds like a war zone around here.

~Teriyaki. There are at least as many Teriyaki restaurants as coffee houses in our fair city.

Tell me, tell me, tell me do.
Does your town make you happy too?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

You CAN take it with you.

I recently had the opportunity to speak at one of the meetings held in conjunction with High School Graduation. It was Baccalaureate. This is a multi denominational religious meeting held to honor the graduates the Sunday before graduation.

Cycle Guy had suggested that I talk about prayer and the importance of having a good relationship with Heavenly Father. Especially as these kids try to make their way into the world.

This is the talk (speech?) I gave: (don't worry, it's short)

Change… it’s what you make it. That is the theme today. You are all about to experience some big changes in your lives. You have 2 more days of finals. Some graduation practices and then graduation. But what then? Some of you are off to college, maybe a university far far away, maybe a community college closer to home. Some of you are going on missions for your church, some will go directly into the world of the working man. Whatever you do a week from today, it will be an adventure and it will be your adventure. Each of you is unique and each adventure will be unique.

As you embark on this exciting and scary time in your life, there are a few things I recommend you take with you. Take your pillow, it’s familiar and it’s comfortable and it’s yours. Take some of your mother’s laundry detergent. Your nose has the best memory of all your senses and it’s good to remember home. But the most important thing you can take with you is your relationship with God. Your Father in Heaven loves you and has a unique plan for each one of you. There is only one way for you to understand this plan and that is through prayer. Daily meaningful prayer.

Matthew taught in the New Testament: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

I recently heard a man share an interesting experience. He said:

When I was a young man in high school, one of my passions was football. During one play against our biggest rival, I had an experience that has helped me over the years. We were on defense. I knew my assigned opponent, and as the play unfolded, he moved to my right into the line of scrimmage. There was a lot of noise from players and fans. I reacted as the coach had taught us and followed my man into the line, not knowing if he had the ball. To my surprise, I felt the ball partially in my hands. I gave it a tug, but my opponent didn’t let go. As we tugged back and forth, amid all the noise I heard a voice yelling, “Packer, tackle him!” That was enough to bring me to my senses, so I dropped him on the spot.

I have wondered how I heard that voice above all the other noise. I had become acquainted with the voice of the coach during the practices, and I had learned to trust it. I knew that what he taught worked.

It is the same with you and your relationship with God and the Savior Jesus Christ. You must pray always, in the good times as well as the bad. Share your life with Heavenly Father, Listen for His voice and read His scriptures. You will learn to recognize His voice over the noise of the crowd and be able to follow His direction.

In James 1:5 in the New Testament we are taught: If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given him.

I testify to you that I know this is true. I have experienced the Lord’s hand in my life and I know that he is there for me and He will be there for you as you include him in this adventure.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pro Bars

A few weeks ago Cycle Guy and I participated in the Fat Cyclists 100 Miles of Nowhere. It was a huge success for Fatty and cancer research by raising money for the LAF (Lance Armstrong Foundation).

CG rode 100 miles on the trainer and I rode a Metric Century which ends up being about 63 miles on the trainer. We watched the first season of "24". He liked the show. I didn't like it a whole lot but it was something to distract from the ride.

We were given a schwag of great stuff for participating. Schwag: the bag given to a cyclist in a race or organized ride filled with things to use that day as well as cool stuff to prove you did it. Fatty posted the list of stuff here.

One of the items was a PRO BAR. I am not a big fan of energy bars. I eat them. (I eat anything, but we won't go there right now.) Yes, I eat them but I rarely enjoy them. Some of them are so chewy that you need any energy you get from them just to revive your jaw after all that chewing. Some are so full of protein powder and wheat germ that you have to drink an entire water bottle in order to continue your ride.

Not Pro Bars. Happy Days are here again. This energy bar was not only edible, it was delicious. The one we got in the schwag was Banana Bread. It tasted just like the real thing. Only better, it had nuts and chocolate chips and yumminess too. (sometimes banana bread flavored stuff just tastes like banana bread flavored stuff. I think if I had stuck this in the microwave and put on a blind fold I may have believed that I was eating fresh banana bread.)

These things are high in good carbs and good fats. I get hungry when I ride my bike and I really crave sweets. Especially chocolate. But I found by eating the Pro Bar I didn't have those cravings and I didn't think about food because what I just ate actually tasted like real food. And guess what? It is. Pro Bars are 70% raw whole food. Maybe that's why I don't spend the rest of the ride day dreaming about chocolate and Twinkies.

I recommend you try a Pro Bar. Great taste, great recovery and they say it can even help with weight loss!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

When it's time to move on ...

I decided years ago that I wanted to make my son a quilt for high school graduation. He was about 5 years old (yesterday) when I saw a quilt made by a girl and her mom when she was a senior in high school. It was made of all of her team shirts as she grew up. Thing One has always been an athlete. He loves to play and tried many sports throughout the years, he has lots of team and camp shirts.They lived in a bag in the back of his closet wondering if they would ever be freed from their bondage. A month or so ago I released them and started cutting. There were t-shirts, jackets, and sweat shirts involved. Looking at these pictures I can see that I missed many of them.I'm not much of a seamstress. And the more I learn about true quilting the more I realize that I am just not enough of a perfectionist to be truly successful. (Sad as it is, I just don't care enough)
So, when I saw this type of quilt I thought it just might work. The quilting and layering are all done one piece at a time, then when you sew them together the rough edges are on the outside.
Honestly, I love the outcome. The back is flannel and I used red polar fleece on the inside. It is snugly, warm and a fun display of the wonderful life I am watching enter it's next phase.High School Graduation is in two days. I was excited until this moment. When I typed 'next phase' I got a pit in my stomach. What will my world be like in three months when this boy who has been my buddy for almost 19 years steps out the door as a man on his own?
Why didn't anyone ever warn me how much it can hurt to love this much?