It's finally getting warm outside!! I do have to admit, this winter was pretty mild and not too cold. In fact, everyone is kind of worried because we haven't had any rain or snow in a little over a month. Hopefully those summer monsoons will bring some moisture to the area. The kids are playing outside more and more everyday which meant it was time to do some backyard clean-up. The water table had gotten pretty dust filled over the winter so we gave that and the slide a some sprucing up. The girls had a blast with the newly cleaned toys.
The RAAM Simulation turned into a weekend at my parents- which is always on the fun list. After church and dinner on Sunday Macy put on a cute little show for us. I didn't get any pictures of just her and London doing the show- but it was so cute. There is a ledge that divides the plants in my parents yard and they used that as their stage and performed a jungle show for us. They pretended like Macy and London was the lion searching through the jungle and then when she popped up we had to scream like we were scared. It was adorable.
They got Kyle to come join in on the fun with them but this time they were flowers that were growing. They started out as little seeds and grew till they will big and strong.
Since 2005 when my Dad did his first Race Across America, I have always heard about "the craziness of RAAM". The first year he did it, I had no idea what he was really doing and it sounded like a long bike ride with his friends. In 2010 Kyle joined his RAAM journey and crewed for another team from the same charity Team Donate Life and then crewed for my Dad's team in 2012. Fast-forward two years and he is again, crewing for my Dad's 2-man team but this time I get to come with him!
After doing RAAM 5 times and crewing once, my Dad has figured out a lot of ins and outs with the race. One of which is preparing the crew for what they are about to do. We had a "RAAM Simulation Day" to help the crew get in sync with what goes on before we are thrown into it on race day.
It started out at my parents house in Buckeye where we got the vans ready to go with the flashers and signs that we would need on the race. Phil is our go to really smart handy man who set up all the flashers system and all that jazz. Here he is with my Dad learning how to use the Cardo (a device that allows us to talk to the riders while they are on the bike).
Kyle was excited to be the GoPro Guy.
Troy Hull is the other guy on the 2-man team- super nice guy! He's an endodontist. I didn't know what they meant either- he does root canals. Fun huh?
Simulation Day is all about learning how to do the ins and outs. One of which is the art of the post it note. As you look at your route book (the thing that tells us exactly where to turn to make it across the country) you write the next turns on a post it note and stick it to the dashboard. From what I'm told, it helps with getting irritated when the driver asks you 50 times when and where the next turn will be.
Troy's practicing for his big finish after the race... we remind him it's 3 months and 3,000 miles away!
The crew is there is to do everything that needs to be done so all the racers have to do is rider. For the 4 and 8 man teams it was a little different, but for the 2-man team each rider has their own van that will carry their stuff and be their "follow" vehicle. The follow vehicle does just that, follows them across the country. Our white mini-van behind Dad is this photo is being the follow vehicle. During the day they don't always have to be following, but most of the time they will be. There will be times when we need to fuel up or eat, but other then that we are cruising the country at around 20 miles an hour. At night, the rider must always be in headlights, so during those hours we will always be following.
The crew in the other van :) We'll see them a lot just like this... through the window, in passing.
With this being a 2-man team the riders will really only see each other in transition. When they do a transition the rider coming out of rest will start pedaling before the rider on the road gets to them- that way they don't lose speed during the transition. Their tires will cross and then the rider coming from rest will take the race and the then the other rider will go get something to eat and some rest. This happens all the way across America.
I am so excited to be part of the team this year. We have a lot of family that is going to watch the kiddos so that I can go help with the race. I have been to New York, Hawaii, California, Utah, and Nevada, but no where in between- it will be really fun to see the country and get to help my Dad race his way across the country.
Back in October I was called to be the 2nd Counselor in the Stake Primary Presidency. This called has been such a new experience for me. I have been in presidencies as a Young Women, but never as an adult- and it's not easy! With being 2nd counselor, my duties mainly with the Cub Scouting program. Luckily, our wards take up the brunt of the work and I really am there for support and information. I went and supported the Holbrook Wards at their pinewood derby and was super glad I did.
The ladies that organized it (Tracy Reidhead and Leslie Laird) had nachos and finger foods and everyone AND the nursery had babysitters and a movie going on to make it easier for those adults that had little ones running around. They did a terrific job! They had a pretty good turn out (at least for us) and the boys seemed to have a lot of fun too.
Like any Pinewood Derby, we had lots of boys trying to get super close to that track. The food helped with keeping them distracted though :)
They invited the YW to also help serve food, they were good little helpers.
Kaleb (Kathleen and Davids son) had a car in the derby so their family was there to cheer him on. Ashley and Macy.
Grandma and London
Brother Laird was our officially start man.
Dwayne Hawk was in charge of inputting all the places into the computer. He was super happy about it.
Kreslie Hawk (Petrified Forest Wards Primary President) helped relay the results from Sister Laird to Dwayne.
We had such a great time! It got me excited for when we will be doing that with Bentley. We got plenty of time though :)
Last December I was approached by the Band Teacher that Kyle works with, Sarah Meeks, and was asked to babysit their little boy, Joey, during the day while they were at work. Joey has been in Macy's 3rd year old and 4 year old preschool class and really is a funny little boy. With them being such good friends I figured why not. Maryanne Meeks had been watching Joey off and on since he was born and with her having a baby on the way, it was time for her to focus on her new little one. Joey started coming over and December of 2013 and in March 2014 his little sister, Alli, came to join us. It was fun to have a newborn in the house and my girls love on her any chance they can get. Sometimes it was a little chaotic around here with 5 kids ages 5 and under, but we had fun :)
Like most preschoolers and toddlers- these kiddos love to play with playdoh. We have a love and hate relationship -playdoh and I-. It keeps the kids busy for quite awhile, but I'm never a fan of the leftover tid bits on my kitchen floor. The good stuff can be fairly expensive too since it only takes one time of playing with it to have it mixed with another color- and my OCD just can't handle mixing colors. I'm not one to try a lot of new things with home creations, I'm a creature of habit... unless my Mom is there... but with playdoh I stepped out of my comfort zone and made some of my own. It was surprisingly easy and since I only made one color- it won't turn into one big blob of brown!
The pink homemade playdoh was a hit and solved most of my issues (mainly the brown blob mixing of colors issue). When some one comes with with a solution to the playdoh all over the floor let me know.
Gotta love the aftermath of a good playing session. I should add- 10 seconds after this photo was takin' I asked them to keep the playdoh on the counter and not on the mantel. That was followed by two little "whhhhyyyy??"'s... "Because you're going to accidentally knock something off and break it". They were super obedient and got the dough off. Sadly that cute "Be Mine" was amongst the casualties of cleaning it off the mantel.