Monday, July 29, 2013

Cleaning the Church

Last weekend my family had the opportunity to help clean the church house here in Holbrook. I have always thought this is a great way to help teach my kids the importance of service and giving back to the Lord even in a small way. But this week I learned another more important lesson. As we were cleaning the windows the whole family got to help which means when we finished the windows were not perfectly clean :) At first I started to go over the places that the kids had already done when I stopped myself and I thought they may not be the cleanest but the lesson is more important. And, I thought of this video that has been the subject of a lot of our church discussions lately. Especially concerning the youth.

“I think we ought to have more programs running less well with people learning more... Invite the young people to act. You have to be there, but you've got to get out of the way. You have to provide direction without taking over.”
—David A. Bednar

Surely I could have done a better job cleaning those windows without the help of our kids but that isn't why we were cleaning the church that morning.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Welcome, Welcome Sabbath Mornin'

I've always loved Sunday Mornings. There's just something about the whole family getting dressed for church and spending time together. This particular Sunday morning went something like this...

Bentley usually just roams the house. Picking up whatever toys he can sneak away from his sisters. In his hand he has Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony. He knows any minute his sisters are gonna freak out and start looking for her.

I end up getting the kids ready randomly through out the morning. I usually get myself ready, the kids dressed, then do their hair, and I finally get dressed. London LOVES getting dressed so sometimes she gets in her dress a little sooner then Macy.
 Our ward starts are 11am and I know that if we all get ready too soon something is bond to happen that we'll be later then usual. So we play a bit until the last minute :) Bentley is teaching me how to do "touchdown"... 
 Obviously I'm pretty good at it :)
 Me and Londer Lou
 We got in some Tickle Time!
Macy decided to grab the camera from Kyle... she got some pretty good shots!
 About this time I start trying to get the girls hair done... Macy still has the camera :)
 She got a pretty good one of Kyle and Bentley! Kyle has early meetings but the Bishop made an awesome decision to do their meetings super early so the men can go home and help their wives get the kids ready.
After this photo Kyle ran and got Bentley ready, I finished the girls, we gathered all of our two thousand things we have to take with us everywhere we go, and we were off to another day at church! Thanks for spending the morning with us!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. I love all the festivities, family time, food, and awesome weather. Holbrook brought back an old tradition this year and had a kids bike parade. We live right across the street from the park so London rode her bike over to the start of the parade but then freaked out when she was supposed to actually ride in it. Our nephew Kaleb (Kathleen and David's son) is the one with a super big grin on his face right in the front. It was fun to see all the decorations and kids.

I feel like our whole group was pretty festive this year, here is a super perfect picture of Mike and Trish.

At the park they had all kinds of kid games. Kathleen was in charge of the potato sack races, so we had to go support her.  I am in the far left, then Kaden, Ethan, Kaleb, and Karl.

Kaleb was super excited- as you can tell :)

Kaden DOVE for the win.
David cheered us all on...
I LOVE this picture of Bentley. He's adorable.

Super cute little miss Ava just wanted to swing.

Macy and London were all over the place. They want to go over and ride the train and I told Macy to make sure London stayed close to her. She made sure London wasn't going anywhere.

London doesn't do too good with Macy trying to mother her...

Everything was better with the ride and a popsicle. 

I love this picture of Lisa and Lorin's little girl Mollie.

Bentley and Mollie, these two are going to be pals one day. For now they just steal each others pacifiers and poke each other in the eyes. 

Check out those baby blues!... and the little drool.. just too cute.

Our 4th of July family photo- all decked out in our red, white, and blue.

After the park we rounded up the men (and me, the photographer) and cut down a dead tree in our backyard. Here's the before....

and after.... I love how 1 guy is doing all the work and 5 are standing around watching him.

After the tree chopping we headed over to Marie's for a very yummy barbecue. Obviously is was way too good to stop and take some pictures, because I got zilch from it. 

As per tradition, we headed over to the fireworks a good hour before they started. We lit up some sparklers and busted out with the poppers. I was proud of Macy this year, she finally held a sparkler! She had loads of fun with them after she finally believed us that they wouldn't burn her fingers. 
Of course, boys will be boys. They tried lighting a few bushes on fire. No big deal.  

For some reason Garrett and Ethan thought it was super fun to throw poppers at my head and pop them next to my ear. I finally gave them the mommy finger and they learned I wasn't messin' around.
 Bentley and Grandma just kind chilled the whole time, they're pretty good at that.

Kathleen brought the kids all glow sticks and they were a huge hit. Macy and London both had enough to make a bracelet and a necklace, any little girls dream come true. 
 The fireworks did not disappoint and were as awesome as any year. The night ended with us waiting around for the line to die down to get back into town. Independence Day in a small town is such a fun day, it is definitely one of the major benefits of living in Holbrook. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Bucket of Blood Races

Kyle and I have been pretty good about helping our community with different activities and events. One that has become somewhat of a tradition has been helping with the Holbrook's Wild West Day (formerly known as Old West Days). For the past couple years Kyle has DJ'd the entire event and I have made and sold bows for some extra cash during the summer. We also would help with the Bucket of Blood races- and that has turned into a little more then just "helping". It started one year when the Bike Race Director's Vince and Nancy Farr were going to be out of town and they couldn't do it. Of course we stepped in and offered our services. We had never been the "directors" before but we've helped and knew that we needed to do. All went well with the race- and it put a little bug in Kyle's ear. Before we knew it we were going to put on a Half-Marathon. Big jump right? I know! I had ran 1 10K but other then that neither of us had any experience in the matter. That didn't matter to Kyle. He lives by something he Dad said... "Would it make it better? Then do it." So... we did it.

This year was our 3rd year and the Half-Marathon has literally doubled in size every year. The first year we only had 10 runners in the Half, the 2nd year was 27, and this year we had 62! We have learned so much from race directing and we definitely know it wouldn't have gone so well if we didn't have all the volunteers. I'll run you through how race morning goes just so you get an idea :)

The previous years we have had all the runner pick up their packet that morning in the parking lot of the courthouse. I knew with 67 runners we would definitely need to do it somewhere else the day before or we would never get the runners ready by race time. I set up a small table at the courthouse during the Wild West Days on Friday where the runners could pick all their stuff up. Kyle was DJing so he was able to hang out with me a little bit and my awesome MIL took the kiddos to her house when they got really bored. About 3/4 of the runners picked up their packets that night so I am much calmer about the next morning. Fast forward to race morning- we had to get up at about 4 AM to make sure everything was ready to go. I actually think Kyle and Lorin Larson woke up around 3 AM to finish marking the course and making sure that was all ready to go.

We set up a small table at the courthouse in the parking lot and made sure everything for registration was good and ventured off to put up the start and finish signs. We had 5 or 6 other volunteers that morning and more came as the sun started coming up. The race started at 6 AM and we had about 60 runners that actually showed up, but that was still double what we had the year before. As the runners left it was time for us registration people to start getting the finish line ready for when they came. At the finish line we needed to make sure we had paper/pencils, the finishers medals, the cop to help the runners cross the highway safely, breakfast, water, gatorade, and someone to make sure that people didn't walk onto the sidewalk where the runners were coming. It was quite the dance when we got everyone situated in their right places. We would see a runner coming up in the distance and the officer would ride up to them on a golf cart and show them where to go. Another officer would hop out of the golf cart and stop traffic on Navajo. At the same time there would be someone stopping the pedestrains from walking on the sidewalk to where the Finish line is. At the actual finish line there are 3 people- One person needs a pen and paper and be writing down the number of runner that is coming up, another would be holding a timer and telling the previous person what their time is, and a third chasing down the runner and tearing off the bottom portion of their race number and put it in order so we know who was 1st, 2nd and so forth. Another person was handing out the medals to the racer as they came by and another is handing out water/gatorade/nutrition bars for the runners.

When all was said and done the times/places were calculated to put everyone in their right category so we knew who to give the prizes to.  In the 10 K that I ran they were awesome and gave out raffle prizes to all the runners no matter what their place was. I really liked that because even though I didn't win I was still able to walk away with something- so we implemented that with this race.

After all the races are complete (Bike race, Family Fun Run, 10K, and Half Marathon) we all met in the gazebo area of the Courthouse and we drew the raffle tickets and handed out all the prizes. This was the only thing that was really bad this year. We had someone in the courthouse printing off certificates for the winners of each category and that took a really long time. If we were to do the Half again we would definitely ditch the certificates.

Everything went so well and we learned so much during the race. At this point we aren't sure if we are going to be able to do the race next year since Kyle and I will both we tagging along with my Dad on the Race Across America and that will be going on only 2 weeks before the race. With all the prep work that goes into being race directors we just aren't sure if we will have enough time. We'll have to see :)

Maybe if Kyle gets some time he will be able to get give some insight on what happens on the actual course- but there's a little insight for you on the start and finish lines!