Sunday, September 28, 2008

Humbling Milestones

Lyle is no slouch of a distance runner. He's finished 3 marathons and numerous 5 and 10Ks and all at a pretty respectable clip. Adam has been running cross country for the high school and we've been very impressed with the effort that he's put into it and how much he's improved. Still, he's only 14 and quite a bit smaller than his dad and has had pretty minimal experience with races.
Last Saturday there was a huge cross country meet with 20 schools participating. At each of these races there is an "open" event where anyone from the community can run. Lots of parents run right along with the kids. Lyle had mentioned he wanted to run in the open, but we weren't sure if Adam was going to be running in the open or in the JV race. Lyle and I agreed that if Adam was running in the open, it wouldn't be a good idea for Lyle to run in the same race and beat him in front of all of his friends.
I couldn't attend the race, but once Adam and Lyle got there Adam learned he'd be running in the open division, and so Lyle said he'd just watch. Adam told him it was fine with him and as long as he didn't tell people who he was, he didn't care if his dad beat him. Lyle ran with our little digital camera so that after he finished he could get a picture of Adam crossing the finish line.
Apparently the race was huge and Lyle estimated 300 participants. The race organizers made sure the cross country team members were at the head of the crowd for the start, so Lyle wasn't right with Adam for the beginning of the race. As Lyle ran he said he didn't notice passing Adam, but there were so many people that it would have been easy to miss him. Lyle crossed the finish line with a time a little over 20 minutes. He turned around and got the camera ready to take a picture of Adam when he came down the final stretch. He waited and waited and was wondering if maybe something had happened to him when Adam tapped him on the shoulder! He had already finished and beaten his Dad with a time of 19:58!
It's a memorable milestone when a son first legitimately beats his dad and Adam mostly avoided rubbing it in, but the picture does seem to scream, "In Your Face!", doesn't it? But to Lyle's credit, he wasn't the least bit upset. He was bursting with pride at the impressive young man Adam is becoming.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rise and Shout the Cougars are Out

Lyle, Adam, Madeline and I went to a BYU game! Here in Washington! The cougars were playing the Huskies in Seattle so we took the ferry boat over and had a fun day with just the big kids. We had quite a lot of company in the visitor's section, but felt greatly outnumbered by all of the purple and gold on the ferry boat and bus.

It was an intense game and our seats gave us a great view of the action. BYU won 28-27 in what would be a hotly contested finish. Even after watching the whole game in person, Lyle spent quite a lot of time listening to Sports Radio afterward to hear the commentary. Too bad there was no Brick Oven to go to afterwards!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

High Compliments

Abby loves to be "grandmothered". I think she would have relished being an only child who could be pampered and spoiled. For the past several years she has had certain favorite people in our ward. Years ago it was Brother Bluemell, an elderly man who was our home teacher. She sat with him every Sunday and they were the best of friends. When he and his wife moved, Abby was very sad. She did rally though and found others who were willing to give her the undivided attention she so craves.

She only sits with people who no longer have children at home. She wants to be the one and only. Her current favorite is a wonderful woman in our ward who has taught primary for many years and is as sweet as can be. She is perfect for Abby because she is a young, energetic grandma and not ancient and nigh-unto-death as Abby seems to believe. This sweet woman brings little things for Abby to play with every Sunday and they write notes back and forth.

Today Lyle and I saw some of the notes and just couldn't stop laughing (and blushing). As expected, Abby's friend wrote her very sweet notes, full of the compliments Abby just lives for. Knowing Abby, the note she wrote in return was meant as a compliment of the highest degree. I can just see her handing her the note with her sweet smile and a little hug.

If Lyle and I die laughing, hopefully she'll come to our funerals too! The preceeding note said, "When you go to the old home, I will bring my kids to visit you."

Another funny Abby story happened the other day over at her school when I was helping out with some timed reading tests. I had a timer set for 3 minutes and the kids needed to read lists of words and see how many words they could read in the set time. I got to test about 10 kids and as usual, Abby had her own unique style. Her testing went something like this:

Me: Abby, we're doing a timed test, so you need to just keep reading the words and if there's one you don't know, I can help you. O.K.? Alright you can start.

Abby: car, run, fan, there, right, house, suddenly, happen, farmer........Hmmm, it makes you wonder what suddenly happened to the farmer, doesn't it?

Me: Abby, this is a timed test. Keep going.

Abby: O.K....that, few, eat, horse, bring, friend.........Ha! That's kind of funny. Did the horse bring a friend? Did the horse go to a party?

Me: Abby. The timer is going. Just keep reading the list.

Abby: O.K.... film, book, port, live......Hmm, you could say "live" like I live in a house or you could say "live" like that spider is a-"live"! Is either one right?"

Me: Yes, Abby, either one is right. Please keep going!

Abby: O.K.... feast, teacher, reason, wonder, verify, cancel, fabulous.....Hmmm, Mom, I know you don't want me to stop, but I just have to tell you something really fast. I'm noticing that these words are getting a little harder. Just to warn you, I might start going just a tad bit s l o w e r ... That's smart, don't you think?

Me: Very smart. Time's up.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What a Great Morning

Our morning started early. Very, very early. Adam is now a high schooler and along with high school comes early morning seminary. Lyle, Adam, and I were up at 5:45. I made breakfast and put place cards on the table for each of our school kids.

Lyle and Adam left for seminary at 6:25 and I went running. Really, truly, I did! I have a goal to exercise every morning now since I need to be up early with Adam and the girls can sleep until 7:30. Despite my groggy legs, I went around our 2 mile loop. I ran the first mile and walked the second. I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed being out as the sun was still coming up. I'll admit though that I was a little nervous every time I heard a branch crack in the woods since a cougar was recently spotted just a few feet from our house. I did have about 160 pounds worth of canine with me, so I figured the cougar would eat the dogs first, right? If I do see a cougar, maybe I can count myself among the great African distance runners......"One morning I was running and came face to face with a lion......"

Here is our freshman. I'm so proud of Adam. He's excited about seminary and has some great goals for his first year of high school. He's been running with the cross country team this summer and is getting so strong. He's also made some great friends and told me yesterday after I picked him up, "You know Mom, there are just really good people in cross country." I've prayed several times today that he's having a good day. Lyle and I were looking at our high school yearbooks last night and remembering that it's a fun time of life, but it's also pretty tough.

I had second breakfast (Hobbit style) with the girls and then we dropped off Maya at preschool. I thought she might get teary-eyed or even fall apart, but she was all smiles as she confidently took her teacher's hand in the drop-off area and skipped into school. She didn't even look back.
Then it was off to the big girls' school. Both said that they felt a little nervous, but I know they'll do great. It was a perfect morning. Now I need a nap!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I Three Now!

Maya jumped out of bed this morning yelling, "I THREE now!" It was a great day. She started the morning at the "Meet the Teacher Day" at The Farm Montessori.

The rest of the day dragged for Maya until Dad got home and it was time to party! Of course, she felt she needed a special dress, hence the Cinderella attire.

When Maya opened her first present (from Abby), she enthusiatically yelled, "It's a BOX! Oh, thank you, Abby! It's a BOX!"
She was completely sincere. Three is a nice age! Obviously she was even more impressed with the stuffed panda she found inside the box.

Next, she chose the present from Mom and Dad. I found this a couple of months ago on E-Bay and knew Maya would love it.
She opened it and quickly put it on and then looked in the box and asked, "Where's my gloves?" She definitely knows the required uniform items at Miss Clavel's school in Paris.

And then Adam brought in his present--a scooter! Maya was beyond giddy.

And off she goes into the sunset, our Chinese/American/French girl.

But wait, there's more!
Madeline got her a cute little play microwave with plastic food.

Happy third birthday! And now it's off to bed because school starts tomorrow!