Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Goin' to State Fair - Sort of...and The BIX 7

Skyler with her project chosen to go to State Fair
Congratulations to Skyler!! This was her first year participating in 4-H. We really didn't know what we were in for but she decided to enter 2 projects into the Rock Island County Fair and just see how it goes. For her two projects Skyler ended up with 2 blue ribbons as well as being chosen to go to the Illinois State Fair with one of her projects. We were super excited. Later we learned that there is an age requirement and the judge didn't realize that Skyler is just a bit too young to be considered for the Illinois State Fair so she had to be demoted to a State Fair Alternate. If she was just a few months older she would have been on her way. At least now we know how it all works and Skyler is already thinking about what she can do for next year. We also had fun checking out the animals at the fair that other    4-Hr's are showing.

Skyler with some Domestic Turkeys
Skyler and one of her friends at the RI County Fair
with their blue ribbons
On Saturday I had a great time running the Bix.  This is only the 3rd race I have ever ran and the longest one I have ever attempted.  The Bix is a 7-mile course that it known for its intense hills.  Brady Street hill is actually nothing compared to McClellan hill.  Actually the whole course is pretty much uphill -- both ways if that is possible  :).  It was pouring down rain for a good portion of the race so everyone was soaked to the bone -- but I love to run in the rain so it was perfect.  I ran the 7 miles in 1 hour, 1 min. + 56 seconds.  I think I will run next time with the goal of running it in less than 1 hour.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Vacation On the Boundary Waters of Minnesota

On the way to our destination we, of course, had car issues -- this time they were not self-inflicted.  Our windshield wiper arm snapped at the base so this is a pic Skyler took of Paul trying to temporarily fix it while I tried to hold the hard plastic up high enough for his hand to fit.  If only she had taken a picture while we were on the interstate getting absolutely DRENCHED as we stood in a rain storm trying to fix this darn thing...

We got to take a canoe trip where we would portage the canoe on land in between the bodies of water.  Super fun and here Paul got a picture of me after Skyler had led me the wrong direction.  It is a little tough to turn around in the timber with a 17 ft long canoe on your shoulders but I got it done.  (I will admit that Paul portaged each time but this one...he was nice enough to let me carry on this last portage). 

Skyler loved trading with me and sitting up front for a while to help paddle the canoe.
We found this painted turtle while we were hiking -- once Skyler put him down he put the other turtles to shame -- he was movin' pretty quick!
Ahhh - the picture of relaxation -- love it!!  This is the view from beside the cabin showing the dock we all hung out on to watch sunsets...the last day we were there the wind finally stopped blowing and we got to see the lake look like glass -- beautiful!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Skyler the Track Star

Skyler had her first track meet on Saturday morning.  I am so proud that she got 2nd place in both events which she participated in!!!!  Below is a picture of her during the last leg of the mile when she kicked it into high gear to pass her friend who had been running in front of her.  Skyler also ran the 400 meter and received 2nd place in that event as well. 
Skyler was in the Rockridge Runners Camp the last few days.  Here is a picture of the top girls from the 400 meter relay:

Here is a picture of Skyler just after she released her frogs and tadpoles. We have lovingly raised them. However, their smell is just something that none of us enjoyed so it was time for them to be on their own.

The other day while I was doing yard work I found this Monarch chrysilis hanging from our front deck.  It takes about 2 weeks for the Monarch to emerge -- so hopefully we will get to witness when that happens.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Christmas in July...DO YOU BELIEVE??

I just had to put in a little note.  Do you BELIEVE??  Without revealing too much -- Skyler and I had a "talk" yesterday afternoon that changed our future Christmas's for years to come.  Some of the stories and questions that go along with our "talk" are hilarious!!  Most of them start out with "but what about that one Christmas when..."  The topper is that when all questions were cleared and I told Skyler how much fun we had watching Skyler each Christmas she asked "Mom, did I ruin Christmas for you now?"  Awww, what a sweet girl, but absolutely not.  It sure will be easier this Christmas!!  I might actually get to bed at a normal time and I won't have to chew on carrots, and take bites out of cookies at like one in the morning any more...there are definitely some pluses to the fact that we had this "talk." 

Summer Break in Full Swing

The other day we took a break and went to the zoo as a family.  This was our first time visiting Niabi Zoo this year.  We used to be members when Skyler was younger because I took her to the zoo several times a month -- but now that she is older -- we settle for several times a year.  It has been so fun over the years to see all of the improvements made at Niabi.  We love the new monkey and giraffe areas!  It is also so fun to get to go in with the birds where you can hand feed them.  If you haven't been to the zoo in a while it is well worth the trip -- a lot has changed.
Those of you who do not live near us may not know, but we have had an INCREDIBLY wet spring.  The last I heard it is our 4th wettest in history.  So when it rains constantly -- you learn to have fun in it.  Below are pictures of Skyler.  She loves the rain no matter what and if it is raining -- you know she will be outside playing in it.
This is a picture of Skyler using our yard as a slip and slide.  Note:  There is no slip and slide underneath her.  Our ground is so saturated that she was able to run and slide on the grass for probably 20 feet at a time -- it was hilarious!

We have been very busy lately so I have cut way back on the blogging.  Paul and I built a deck for our neighbor all by our lonesome this past week, the Quad City Air Show was last weekend, I have been running the Bix at 6's as well as running in general, Skyler has had a lot of softball games (last night was all the way down in North Henderson), we went to the zoo, Skyler has had several 4H activities recently and we still mow our side yards and do other side jobs in addition to our regular jobs, I have also had the opportunity to help my friend by being her photographic assistant for several Saturdays (which is so fun), plus just regular life.  I will try to keep putting occasional posts especially for those of you who don't live nearby and we don't get to see you too often.