Saturday, September 10, 2011

First Marathon

I have been running on a regular basis for a few years now, but for some reason I have never run a marathon. So this year I decided, why not? Now is as good a time as any.

I didn't do as well as I would have liked, but I ran the whole thing, and at the end thought "Yeah I could do this again." I have to admit that I prefer half marathons, because the distance is just a lot more my cup of tea. I am sure I will run more marathons in the future.

I kept hearing from all my Marathon running friends that the last 6 miles is the hardest, so I asked my brother Preston to come run with me. He was a good sport and was my running buddy through the end when I was probably going pathetically slow.

Although, I did not know it at the time, of the race I was already two months pregnant so I have decided that I am going to blame my slower time on that...well you have to start somewhere.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

First Bike Ride

At the end of August, I completed my first long distance bike ride. I was at a ward dinner last year talking to our friends, the Van Wagnens. Rod Van Wagnen loves to cycle and has done a lot of different bike rides. At the time, I was really pregnant, but I told him we should train for the Copper Triangle in 2011. I have done a lot of running races and triathlons and was ready to do something a little different. In April our early Saturday morning rides began, and every Saturday morning from then until August we were out riding. I loved it. Rod is in the Air Force, so most Saturdays we spent riding around the Academy in Colorado Springs which is so pretty and just perfect for cycling.

The Copper Triangle Course

The Copper Triangle is a really popular bike ride in Colorado because over the course of the ride you climb up three different mountain passes and end up climbing a total of about 6,000 ft. It is a beautiful scenic mountain ride and can be challenging, but to my surprise in all my cycling I found that I was better at climbing hills than anything else.

When I was training I was worried about making it up Vail Pass because I rode up it many years ago with Foote for one of our first dates and I remembered that it was a HARD climb. Foote had originally planned for our date to ride down Vail pass spend some time in Vail and catch a bus back up, but after riding down it I thought it can't be that hard to go back up. Lets just say after one of the longest most exhausting afternoons of my life. I spent about 70% of the ride walking my bike up the hill and getting passed by 70 year old men telling me to get back on my bike. It was not a great cycling moment for me.

Luckily, this time I trained for Vail pass and it was no problem. I completed the whole ride in just over six hours. I kept having to remind myself that I was on a ride not a race. It is a totally different mindset than running. You are supposed to take your time enjoy your stops on the course and despite my attempts to take it slow I still ended up flying through the course. I think I was afraid if I allowed myself to rest to long I would not get back on the bike. I am definitely going to have to do this ride again.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Why do you make me work so hard?

Tonight while eating Dinner. I was having a discussion with the girls about chores. Aly is usually a pretty good little helper, as long as she is in a good mood. Brooklyn, on the other hand, can not seem to manage doing a chore without first complaining about it for at least three times as long as it would actually take to complete the task. Tonight I told the girls they needed to empty the dishwasher. I have them do it as a team, so one can be up on the counter and the other can hand up the dishes. I know, most moms would prefer to keep their kids off the counter, but mine always climb up there anyways, so they might as well do something helpful in the process.

The deal was, that they had to complete the chore before they could have dinner. Brooklyn immediately began to whine "why do you make us work so much?". My responses are usually something like "Because I am a mean mom who loves to torture her kids." or "I love to pretend like I am Miss Hannigan, and you are my orphans and have you to clean the whole house".

Foote on the other hand trys to take the loving approach and help them realize the benefit of respondsibilities. At dinner Foote asks Brooklyn " When you grow up an have a house do you think you will want your house to be clean or dirty?" Brookie replied "Clean." Foote - "Will you want your house vacuumed?", Brookie - "yes" Foote - "How will you know how to vacume your house if you never practice." long pause Brookie -"Well, when I was at Grandma's house, she told Ann how to vacuum in a straight line and I was listening to her, so I know how to vacuum." Foote - "Don't you think you will need to practice" Brookie - "No I was listening so, I will just remember." Leave it up to brook to justify herself out of chores.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Kindergarten: This is serious stuff

Two weeks before school started, I had already received about ten different e-mails from Aly's school. We decided to enroll Aly in one of the Charter schools within our district, but I was beginning to panic by the amounts of information I was required to review before that first day. So here it is; first, uniforms. We were provided with very specific instructions on what qualifies as khaki and what is just khaki, colored denim. Polos - what are acceptable colors, no designs of any kind. Belts need to match the shoes. The instructions go on and on. I have to admit that the uniforms are great now that school has started. There have been no arguments on why she can't wear her favorite tie dye shirt that is two sizes to big, or why she can't wear an outfit of all the same color just different shades. It makes getting her ready for school fast and easy.

Next email: specific instructions on how traffic is supposed to flow at drop off and pick up. With 400 kids at the school and no buses...lets just say things get a little crazy. I have to say I am very impressed by how well organized things are, Although I did get in trouble by the traffic Nazi the first day of school, for allowing my child out of the wrong side of the car. This is serious stuff. School clubs, PTO, the list goes on and on. I am now officially part of the "My Child is in School and Will be for a Long Long Time" club. Not to mention the kids to follow. This craziness will get to be multiplied as each child enters a new school year.

Two weeks into the school year and, Aly has homework about every night. A spelling test and a phonogram test every week. I am glad that she is in a school that is challenging her, but I do not remember Kindergarten being so hard. I remember my biggest stress about Kindergarten, was what center I would get to play at during our indoor playtime.

Another drama that is part of the daily school routine is that Aly refuses to walk into her class by herself. This is a little challenging since three days a week Aly has to be to school at 12:00 and Brooklyn has to be at school a few miles away at 12:15. We have to try to time our arrival at school at the same time as her other classmates so she will have someone to walk into class with. Otherwise I have to park the car, get out, and spend an extra ten minutes saying goodbye and coaxing her into her classroom.

School time Seriously?

I may be the only mother that wants to stand up and protest, but these summers are just way to short. I always have a list of about 100 things I would like to do with my kids over the summer, and I am usually lucky to do five. This summer we spent our time poolside, camping, and at the library.

Colorado Springs, within the last few years, has become the target of the hardcore gyms. You know the ones that are "112,000 sq ft of healthy luxury" (whatever that's supposed to mean?) I guess working out is supposed to be more enjoyable if it is at a pretty the way, not true. Since these gyms were just getting their start I was able to get some good deals that would assure us that we could at least spend the summer at a pool. Alyson, Brooklyn and Dwyn logged a lot of swimming hours this year. Brooklyn was one of the youngest to pass the swimming test. She had to swim 25 meters on her own, in deep water. She passed with flying colors. Alyson is finally tall enough to go down the slide, which made Brooklyn determined that she should be tall enough also. Despite being told by life guards on multiple occasions, that Brooklyn was to small, she took every opportunity she could to sneak down the slide....Despite my continual warnings.

This is where we lived this summer or at least an exact replica of the our pool I think this one is in Texas.

Camping - I have decided that one of my dream vacations is to just camp all summer long. As soon as the kids get out of school we would take off on a road trip across the US and see some of the sites, camping all along the way. If we like the place we stay an extra night, if not we just move on to the next campsite. If kids are dirty, who cares were camping? If I eat completely unhealthy, who cares I am camping? I haven't quite figured out how Foote is supposed to work while we are camping all across the US, but I am determined that one of these summers we are going to do it.

Brooklyn loves everything about camping.

Foote wants the girls to learn how to set up their own tent. Aly had a great time helping.

The camping face.....Who cares? We're camping.

Library - Both of the girls really got away with slacking off on their reading this summer. I usually make them read at least 20 min a day during the week, but this summer we were just to busy playing and I let them slack off. They did the bare minimum to get all their prizes with the summer reading program and loved getting out of their daily reading.

Enjoying running through the fountains after listening to a concert in the park. This is what summer is all about

Alas...It has all come to an end. Aly started Kindergarten on the 3rd of August, and Brooklyn started preschool this week. So I will now have to move the other 95 items to my to do list for next summer. Hope you all had a great summer full of fun experiences and lots of adventures.

Aly ready for the first day of school

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Brooklyn Turns 4

Brooklyn turned four at the beginning of June. Brooklyn's latest obsession is taking pictures. She is always playing with my camera, so for her birthday she received a miniature digital camera, compliments of Foote's online negotiating. We also took a family trip to the circus. Brooklyn was a little sad that she did not get to have a friend party this year, but she lost the privilege after bleaching her room (If our house survives these girls it will be a miracle). I had not been to the circus forever so it was fun to experience it with the girls. Brooklyn liked the elephants and Alyson liked the tigers.

We also celebrated with Foote's family at the pool in Castle Rock, and did cake and ice cream with my family after Sunday dinner. Brooklyn was so funny, when we went swimming in Castle Rock, she really wanted to go off the diving board. Andrew was catching her, but the lifeguard told him she had to be able to swim to the edge of the pool by herself. We told Brookie that she would not be able to go off the board anymore because she had to swim to the edge. She burst into tears, so I asked her if she wanted to go into the pool and practice swimming and come back when she could do it. That was all it took, she worked for about an hour on swimming back and forth from me to the wall and then it was back to the diving board, she was so proud of herself. Brooklyn is so determined which can be good and bad. If she wants to do it she will. On the other hand, if she doesn't want to do it she won't .

Brooklyn's birthday interview:

What is your favorite book? The treat books by Kevin Henkes this is a set of books that the girls received from their Aunt Kari and Uncle Ed, and they have read them thousands of times they are a very well loved set of books at our house.

What is your favorite thing to do?I love to drink soda with ice cream...we have been having root beer floats lately and Brooklyn loves them.

What is your favorite food? M&Ms and Watermelon

What do you want to be when you grow up?I want to plant a garden

What is your favorite movie?Tarzan and Jane

What is your favorite scripture story?The story of the resurrection

What is your favorite song? Teach me to walk in the light

Things I want to remember about Brooklyn at this age:

Brooklyn has a very determined personality if she wants to do something there is no stopping her. Brooklyn is a little nurturer. If Dwyn is crying or hungry Brooklyn does not hesitate to take charge. I thought the excitement of holding the baby would wear off after the first few months, but Brooklyn still asks to hold the baby about ten times a day. Brooklyn loves to sing and is an excellent climber. She climbs everything. I have to admit that it is like watching myself when I was little I used to climb everything.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Aly's Age 5 Interview

Sum up of Aly's favorites and interests at 5.

What is your Favorite Book?
"Hop on Pop," She loves this book because she can read it all by herself. It took about fifteen minutes for her to work her way through it the first time, but now she has it down and loves to haul it around reading it to Brooklyn or anyone that will listen. The other day we did an outing to the theater and I turned around as we walked into the theater and realized Aly had not left "Hop on Pop" in the car...seriously your bringing the book into the movie? This girl loves that she can read.

What is your Favorite Food?
Fruit! That sums it up although strawberries are her favorite. Aly has yet to meet a fruit that she does not like. I bought a pound of Strawberries yesterday and they are gone and Aly is the only one that had any, if I forget to hide the fruit it is gone in just a couple days. Did you know that tomato is a fruit? And yes she will eat them like apples.

What is your favorite thing to do?

Who are your friends?
"Brad, Cassidy, Aubrey, Kaitlyn, Katie, Megan, Madison, and cousins, but Brad is my best friend." Aly loves Brad because, as she puts it "He is always nice to me." This is a boy that she goes to school and primary with, and just adores. She is always drawing pictures or making presents for Brad, and always wants him to come over to play. After their last playdate I have theory on why she gets along so well he is just so laid back that Aly can boss him around or talk nonstop to him and he just agrees with whatever she says.

What to be When you grow up?
A painter

What is your favorite movie?
The new Tinkerbell movie and Caillou

What is your favorite scripture story?
"Moroni, who prayed for a long time" (obviously we have some more teaching and clarifying to do when it comes to scripture stories.)

What is your favorite sport?
Swimming. She saw the swim team practicing when we went swimming with Grandma Foote. She wants to be on the swim team, but she has to be six and be able to do the crawl and backstroke for 25 yards. She is going to have to practice a lot this summer if she wants to join next year.

Things that I want to remember about Aly at this age:

This girl is so easy to teach. I work with her almost everyday on reading, writing and math and I'm blown away at how far she has come in a year. I also love her enthusiasm for learning. I told her I would teach her to read an analog clock when she memorized her multiples of five. That was all it took, TWO DAYs later she had them mastered. I am excited to see how she does when she starts kindergarten.

Aly loves ART. This is a gene that she did not get from me. I bought Aly and Brooklyn art kits for Christmas, and Aly has worn out both hers and Brooklyns and has put some good wear and tear on a new one she received for her birthday.

Her life is a musical she is constantly singing. If we are combing her hair she is singing about combing her hair. If I tell her to get her shoes on she is singing about her shoes. Her songs are so simple and funny.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Natalee leaves on her Mission

Aunt Natalee and uncle Dan with all the grandkids that were at the missionary FHE.

I'm finally posting this now that my sister has been on her mission for over a month. We're loving having a family member on a mission. I think when my brothers served, I was either to young or to involved in my own life to keep up with everything. With Natalee I am always thinking of things to write to her or counting down to her next letter.

Natalee left Feb 26th for the MTC, to prepare for her mission to Romania. When I told Alyson about it she said, "Oh like the man in our book" (Referring to the story of Ammon we read recently). This was a proud moment for me most of the time I don't even know if she is listening when we read the scriptures together. Alyson became very concerned about Natalee being captured by the Lamanites like in the Book of Mormon stories. I tried to explain that Ammon's story took place at a different time, but I am not sure that this concept makes sense to her. Alyson has started to refer to different time periods as worlds so for example she will say, "Did he live in Jesus' world? or did this happen in our world?"

Anyway.....My sister Shanda, who is always full of great ideas, thought it would be fun if we had a missionary FHE to help the kids better understand what a missionary is, and help them get excited for Natalee and her Mission. We all got together at Grandma and Grandpa's house and the kids all helped with the program. Natalee taught the lesson and for the activity Shanda had little headshots of all the return missionaries in the family, and the kids all got a chance to match each missionary on a world map to the country where they served.

The kids played pin the name tag on the missionary while being blindfolded.
To finish, the kids got to color a picture of a missionary while all the return missionaries told short stories from their missions. Grandpa even got out the slide projector....I know the slide projector.

It was great not only for the kids, but I think it did a lot for all the return missionaries to have a reminder of the special experiences that happened on their mission. Thanks Shanda, for not only having great ideas, but for always being willing to act on them.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Alyson a work of Art

Alyson, over the last few months has become obsessed with art. She colors, paints, draws and writes for hours everyday. I bought her an art kit for Christmas and it has been worth its weight in gold. I have given up on putting it away, because I just have to get it right back out. It has become a permanent fixture on our table. Alyson turned 5 on February 26th, and we had her friends over for an art party. We had a great time celebrating by doing all of her favorite things. This is the "Art Party" breakdown.

We started the party by having all her friends help her paint, color, or draw on her happy birthday mural on the wall.

I used some of Aly's recent artwork to decorate, I then took one of her masterpieces off the wall and told the kids that it was stolen by the art thief. We had to follow the clues to find the stolen Art piece and earn a reward.

We played a balloon game, where all the kids popped a balloon, and if they got the balloon with the winning number they got to pick a prize.

The kiddos each got their own miniature cakes to decorate, and eat with some ice cream. Thanks to my wonderful sister Shanda, for taking the time to frost all the miniature cakes for me. Aly decided, instead of having candles on her cake that she wanted a candle on all her friends cakes, so they could all blow out candles together.

While we waited for parents to come, I pulled out some playdough for each of the kids, and let them practice making sculptures of anything they wanted. One of my friends mentioned, I was very brave to have ten five year olds, with art supplies, having a free for all in the house. It was a little crazy, but a lot of fun.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Shake it Up... A lot.

Foote comes home from an update course for Real Estate and tells me that he's in violation. A law passed last year that took effect this year, and because we have a property management company that is not a part of the brokerage Foote was with, that's not allowed anymore and he could potentially lose his license. Suddenly we have to leave the company and start our own. This all happened within the last two weeks of January, Foote took the class, determined that he had to start his own company, find an office we could afford (sort of), move his office, set up internet, phone and fax, register with the state and the local association and get new business cards. There is still a lot to do, but the new company is official and we're working on getting some publicity. If you don't mind, visit the new Facebook page and like it. C Springs Realty LLC He's also offering 4.5% listings to start building inventory in his new company, so tell all your friends.

The website for the new company is

Wish us luck.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Seeking Motivation

I have always loved documentaries. The last few months it has just got a little out of control every time I have any TV time which is usually at night after kids are in bed and I have clothes to fold or have to clean the family room anyway. Thanks to Watch Instantly Netflix I have hundreds of documentaries to choose from. Over the last couple months I think I have watched a few to many documentaries on our food industry or weight related documentaries the combination has left me feeling guilty every time I go shopping or to prepare food because the cheap part of me and the want to be healthy part of me go to war with each other. I just can't convince myself to shell out twice or three times as much as I usually do on produce to buy organic. The main reason is that I just don't have the luxury of doubling my food budget.

These movies are the culprits to my current stress. If you are a documentary geek like me you should check them out.

Opened my eyes to realize that about 90% of what we eat is corn it is in so much of our food.

I watched this a long time ago, but decided to watch it again after talking to my niece who refuses to eat at McDonalds EVER! because of this film. I do think it is interesting that although she won't eat at McDonalds she will eat at other fast food chains....As if they are really that different. I hoped in re watching it maybe it would keep me from eating fast food FOREVER, but truthfully I eat fast food so rarely anyway that it really didn't do much except remind me why I so rarely eat fast food.

This movie really opened my eyes to the meat industry in the US. And kind of made me proud to say that over the last year about 70% of our meat consumption was elk because there is probably nothing more natural to eat than wild meat. I am now a little more concerned about wether or not the guys have success on their hunting trip.

This film was great. The surgeon general talks about obesity being the biggest killer in the US. It really made me think about the responsibility we have as parents to model healthy lifestyles and provide that for our kids.
This film made me feel guilty for all the times I have rolled my eyes at my dad and his daily regimen of vitamins and supplements. I have heard the argument for raw foods or power foods to help with about every type of illness or problem, but this film was very convincing in helping me realize that we really underestimate the power of nature and our own bodies to make us healthy.

Now that I have the eating right guilt down all I need is a few documentaries on exercise guilt and I might motivated to face the new year.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Our Little Dwyn

I am finally getting around to posting about the new little love in my life and put some rumors to rest. I have to admit that sometimes when preparing for a new baby I sometimes have feelings of pure fear. I have not always had the happiest babies and sometimes I am scared that I will go crazy trying to cope with the hours of crying. I tried to mentally prepare myself for a newborn by reminding myself on a daily basis of all the time and energy a new baby would require and that it would just be for a season and not last forever.

Our little Dwyn Lylian Foote was born on December 23rd at 1:19am and was 7lbs 9 1/2oz. Contrary to rumor my labor lasted more than 10 minutes although I left my house at 12:45 and she was born at 1:19 that includes driving to the hospital getting to the third floor and from triage to delivery. I was worried we might not make it, but everything went well. I am loving having a newborn. Last night I found myself wanting to cry as I realized how short of a time she would be so little. I wished I could pause time and keep her little. Her sisters adore her and tell me that I can leave at any time because they can babysit. That would definitely be interesting since Foote had to explain to them that baby sitting did not mean sitting on the baby.

To answer questions as to her name it is a Welsh. Like most names Dwyn has several meanings but some of the most common are pleasant and steadfast both of which I really liked. Andrew also served half of his mission in Wales and traces a lot of family history back through Wales, so it is a name with meaning for him.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Excuses Excuses

It has been a crazy last few months. I have been meaning to update this blog forever and keep putting it off. The beginning of October I was offered a job with the Gazette our local newspaper as a supervisor over the distribution of their niche products. Which basically means all their free products they print which include Freshink, Academy Spirit, Spring Values, and Sunday Preferred. I have to make sure these products are being delivered, keep track of returns, and make sure numbers are reported to the right people. It is an ideal job for me because it only requires a couple early mornings a week and than a few hours of driving around verifying delivery a week.

A few days after I started my new position I got a call from the Gazette single copy delivery asking if I could help substitute since they had two routes down and were desperate for help. I asked how long they would need help and they said a couple of weeks. That was the beginning of October and I was calling them from the hospital the morning Dwyn was born on December 23rd to let them know I would not be able to do the route. My schedule was a little like this I would leave my house at a little after 2am to deliver my single copy route every day except on Wednesdays and Fridays I had to go in early and do my new position before I delivered my route. On Wednesdays and Fridays I would go in about 12:30 do the work for my new position and then go deliver my single copy route at about 3am. I would than get home by about 6am and need to have kids up and ready for preschool by 8:30. Sometimes I could sneak in about a 45 min catnap, but most days it is just easier to stay up. To add to the craziness the last few weeks I was pregnant it was also my turn to teach preschool on Monday and Wednesday. When did I sleep?....I guess it is a good thing that my body adjusted a long time ago to surviving on about 4 hours because I usually manage to get about that much squeezed in somewhere.

Most days I was just trying to remember that even though I was tired I still need to remain patient and kind while fighting with a three year old while she insisted that she had to wear her tap shoes to school with her sweat suit. There was really only one word that summed up how I felt. Exhausted. The point of this post is not to complain, but more to show that I have a good excuse why I have been such a slacker on keeping up on my blog. Now that I am no longer delivering a route everyday I might have some extra energy to keep up my blog on a regular basis. Although I am still getting up with a newborn it is easier than doing a route.