Monday, August 30, 2010

old man

This video just cracks me up. It's really kind of sad; though I just can't help but laugh every time I watch it. We took Asher to the water park for his birthday. We spent several hours there playing and enjoying the water, wave pool, slides, etc. Towards the end of the day, however, we noticed he was starting to walk kind of weird. Turns out his little swim diaper had rubbed the insides of his legs raw. This video clip was taken shortly after our return home.

Don't judge the messy "birthday" house...or the fact that Asher's left bun cheek is fully exposed (John could clearly use some brushing up on his diaper changing skills).

that ruby girl

Ruby, why are you wearing a basket on your head?

It's not a basket, mom, it's my thinking cap.

And why she's wearing a turtleneck, when it's 100 degrees outside, is beyond me.
She's truly one of a kind...that ruby girl.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Asher's birthday was actually on the 20th...but since we were all busy with Karen's wedding, we decided to postpone it until today. Deferring kids' birthdays for the convenience of the parents, is only something you can pull-off when they're too young to know better.

Regardless of the actual date, I still can't believe my baby boy is two. He's such an awesome little guy who has blessed our lives in more ways than I could have ever imagined.

I'll write all about the celebration...when we're actually done celebrating. We have an action-packed day ahead of us!

Friday, August 27, 2010

that's entertainment...

Well it looks like it's that time of year. We've closed the door to the lazy, carefree days of summer, and opened a window of structured chaos...which is sounding really funny since my oldest is only 4. I want to keep her really busy though...because to me, busy equals no time for laziness. I want to instill good habits while she is young, and hopefully she will chose to be involved and stay busy throughout her life. So far it looks like we'll be adding something new each week. School started two weeks ago. Dance started last week. And today was the first day of her "that's entertainment" musical theater class. Next week I have her joining a synchronized swimming team...ha, just kidding about that. I think we'll settle with just dance and the music class for now and see how she does.
Brooke called me at the beginning on the summer to see if we wanted to sign Ruby up for a summer workshop of singing and dancing. It was two weeks of intense practicing, in the which the kids learned about 10 songs (word for word), as well as the coordinating dance moves. At the end of the two weeks, they put on a fun performance for all the parents. Ruby had a blast. Each day of practice was dedicated to a different theme. The kids were encouraged to participate by dressing up in accordance with the assigned theme. We really got into the theme days at our house...

Happy Days - dress for the 50's

Peace and Love - or "hippy day"

Tacky Day - silly, mismatched

Safari Day - wild and crazy jungle attire

Rock Star Day - dress like the rock stars you are!

Performance Day!
This is just one of their many acts. Ruby and her cousin, Bennett, were a little shy during the performance...but I thought they were adorable together in this little number. They are on the front row, far left.
I'm so excited that Ruby will be involved in this little show choir full-time. She had such a great time this summer, and is still singing and dancing to the songs she learned. I hope that this will help her develop a love and appreciation for music...which I have no doubt, will bless and enrich her life.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

the thousand dollar tea party

John once told me a story about a missionary who was having severe abdominal pains. Worried that it may have been something serious - such as appendicitis, the missionary's companion (who was actually John's brother) rushed him to the nearest emergency room. A series of tests were preformed, during which the elder expelled some gas, and felt immediate relief. Turns out that's all it was...pain caused by the need to break wind. The trip to the emergency room ended up costing the mission a pretty penny, and from then on, the missionary was teased incessantly about his "thousand dollar fart".

We had an occurrence at our house, involving our Asher, which I like to refer to as the "thousand dollar tea party". Thankfully everything turned out alright, or I wouldn't speak so lightly of the incident. A few weeks ago, I was in the laundry room cleaning out a mop. I decided to use some clorox for disinfecting, and must have forgotten to replace the cap in between uses. Unbeknownst to me, as I was busy swishing the mop around in bleach water, our inquisitive and mischevious little Asher, took off with the gallon of clorox. Moments later, pale as ever, and gasping for air, a very panicked Asher returned to the laundry room (where I was still busy cleaning the mop) and desperately began tugging on my leg...he was coughing like crazy. The first thing I noticed was the giant bleach spots that mottled his little blue t-shirt. Suspicious of what may have happened, I rushed to the playroom, where I discovered that my fears had been realized. I found the empty bottle of clorox laying on the ground...and displayed in a neat row on the table, were child-sized tea cups - each filled to the brim. Asher had been having himself a little tea party, but rather than using water, or juice, or cute little cups filled with strawberry milk...he went for the bleach. That's my Asher. Always has to be different.
How much he actually drank, we'll probably never know, but enough to cause intermittent vomiting while he nearly hacked up a lung for 10 minutes straight.
I called 911 right away. They kept me on the line so we could do a three-way call with poison control. The poison control operator could hear Asher coughing in the background, and instructed the 911 dispatcher to expedite the paramedics. She said that the bleach itself isn't poisonous, but if enough is ingested, it can cause serious damage (burns) to the esophagus and lungs. So literally, within just minutes, there were about 10 public employees (mainly paramedics, but a police officer or two were also present, as well as a couple of firefighters) crowded around Asher right there in our family room. As luck would have it, by the time they actually got there, his continuous coughing and vomiting, had ceased; and he was as peppy as ever. However, after checking his mouth and discovering the condition of his throat(abnormally red and irritated), they advised that we head to the hospital anyway, just to be safe. So here we are, just moments later, gearing up for our thousand dollar ride to the hospital...

The doctor whom we saw at the hospital, was very thorough in his examination, and confirmed that everything looked alright. He told us something interesting, after verifying the brand of bleach that was ingested. Clorox brand is actually very mild in comparison to some of the off- brands, which oftentimes contain unknown amounts of extremely harmful chemicals. So I guess if your kids are going to have a tea party - with bleach being the beverage of choice - make sure you buy the Clorox brand for burns less going down, and the side effects are relatively mild.
Either that, or just keep the Clorox out of your child's reach.

I figure I might as well save you the $1000.
(As well as the trouble of having to replace your carpet).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


That's how old she was when I met her; and now Karen's old enough to be married.
It's still so strange to me, how fast these past eight years have flown on by.

Isn't she a beautiful bride?
Love her.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

barefoot running...

About a year ago my friend, Sarah, introduced me to a book called Born to Run. We had been working out together every morning, and almost daily, she shared with me something new from the book. Multiple times a week she had us running barefoot through the grass surrounding the junior high's track, or sprinting sans shoes across the football field. I'll never forget the morning she showed up with just a pair of socks on. She had made her own pair of minimalist footwear by sewing a piece of leather on the bottom of each sock. After that, I decided it was time I read the book myself...the book that had provoked in my friend, such erratic ideas and behavior. I picked myself up a copy at the local Barnes & Noble, and was instantly hooked. I couldn't put it down. As I read, I became lost in the world of the Tarahumara - an indian tribe in Mexico's Copper Canyons who can run for hundreds of miles (barefoot or in sandals handcrafted from straps of leather and tire rubber) without ever breaking a sweat, needing to stop for a rest, or becoming injured. As the book unfolds, the secrets of the Tarahumara are also revealed. Christopher McDougall is the author of this fascinating read. I absolutely love his response when asked to disclose some of the secrets he learned by spending time with the Tarahumara - arguably the greatest long distance runners in the world. This was his observation:

The key secret hit me like a thunderbolt. It was so simple, yet such a jolt. It was this: everything I’d been taught about running was wrong. We treat running in the modern world the same way we treat childbirth—it’s going to hurt, and requires special exercises and equipment, and the best you can hope for is to get it over with quickly with minimal damage.

Then I meet the Tarahumara, and they’re having a blast. They remember what it’s like to love running, and it lets them blaze through the canyons like dolphins rocketing through waves. For them, running isn’t work. It isn’t a punishment for eating. It’s fine art, like it was for our ancestors. Way before we were scratching pictures on caves or beating rhythms on hollow trees, we were perfecting the art of combining our breath and mind and muscles into fluid self-propulsion over wild terrain. And when our ancestors finally did make their first cave paintings, what were the first designs? A downward slash, lightning bolts through the bottom and middle—behold, the Running Man.

The Tarahumara have a saying: “Children run before they can walk.” Watch any four-year-old—they do everything at full speed, and it’s all about fun. That’s the most important thing I picked up from my time in the Copper Canyons, the understanding that running can be fast and fun and spontaneous, and when it is, you feel like you can go forever. But all of that begins with your feet. Strange as it sounds, the Tarahumara taught me to change my relationship with the ground. Instead of hammering down on my heels, the way I’d been taught all my life, I learned to run lightly and gently on the balls of my feet. The day I mastered it was the last day I was ever injured.

By reading this book, I not only became inspired by the lifestyle of the Tarahumara, but felt equally invigorated as I learned of other elite runners and amazing athletes. It wasn't long before I found myself wanting to become a runner as well...a barefoot runner, no less. Sarah introduced me to her friend, Chris, who has been barefoot running for quite sometime and has some great knowledge and expertise to share on the subject. Much of his know-how was derived from none other than Barefoot Ted himself - featured in Born to Run. Chris set up a Barefoot running club and began offering bf running clinics at a local park on Saturday mornings. Believe it or not, it is a science. After learning and practicing a few important elements to barefoot running, I began running almost every morning, and got up to about 3 1/2 miles on any given day. And then heat of the summer struck, and even in the early morning hours, the pavement was almost too unbearable to run on. That, and I got lazy...and busy.

I went barefoot running this morning. It's been several weeks since the last time, so I could only go about 1/2 a mile until my feet started feeling sore. I stopped just in time, thankfully...I have no blisters. Tomorrow I may try to go a bit further. I'm mad I let so much time it's like I'm starting all over again. So at this point you may be thinking I'm crazy...or wondering to yourself what this madness is all about. I've been asked all sorts of questions about it...Why in the world would anyone go running without the support and protection of good running shoes? What's the benefit of bf running? Isn't it bad for your feet? What about rocks and glass? I love catching glimpses of people as I pass them by. I've been given a few dirty looks...seen some confused expressions, semblances of shock...some double-takes. Actually I think that's part of what makes it so much fun - getting reactions out of people.
Running barefoot adds a whole new dimension to my running experience. It forces me to be more aware of my surroundings...the ground...the environment, even movements, my thoughts. It helps me to enjoy nature more. It takes me back to even before my schooldays and brings a sense of childlike wonder. When done right, it's relaxing, it's peaceful, it's therapeutic, and most's fun. Skeptical? Give it a try...or read Born to Run and then you'll most certainly want to give it a try.