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Archive for June, 2008

Every now and then I ask myself, “How am I doing as a parent?”

“Am I too lenient? ”

“Am I too strict?”

“Are the kids learning anything?”

“Am I a bad a parent if I serve raw carrots five dinners in a row?”

“Am I failing if the kids have stayed up until 10pm every night this week?”

In these moments I look for answers to these questions. Sometimes the answer comes in the form of a peaceful feeling. Sometimes it comes in the form of pathetically tired and cranky kids. No matter what, the answer usually comes in one form or another.

This week, as usual, I was trying to gauge my level of parenting. I’ve been struggling with finding a new chore system to contribute to the survival of my sanity and the survival of the house this summer. I’ve also been wrestling with puzzling together a curriculum for this coming year. In the midst, I’ve been a little neglectful of the kids, allowing too much TV and DS playing, Otter Pop eating, and general time wasting.

In an attempt to compensate for my lack of task mastering, I sent Jack off to complete some of his Bear Scout requirements. One of which was to make a list of important emergency telephone numbers and post one by each phone in our house. Here is what he came up with. (Please disregard the penmanship. It IS summer after all):

Should I be worried? Needless to say, I’ll be stepping it up a notch this week.

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I LOVE the Oregon coast. It’s not the kind of place to bask in the sun and take a dip in the ocean and lounge around on the beach. The wind is mighty, the clouds are often threatening, and the waves are awesome. And that’s why I love it. But some shelter is necessary to enjoy those conditions. And shelter with lots of character and charm is always ideal. So, I chose this charming home to add to my collection of beach houses. What do you think?

You can see the entire listing here.

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If you’ve never been to an Ironman triathlon, you really have to put it on your to-do list. You can look at pictures, watch it on T.V. and read about it in the sports section of your paper, but nothing is quite like being there. Never have I seen so many uber athletic people in one place before. It was so inspiring to watch these people of all ages, sizes, and shapes work so hard to accomplish the goal of Ironman. The crowds were huge and supportive of everyone competing. All along the race course there were people cheering the athletes on. The volunteers were great. Everywhere you turned, you could find someone volunteering their time to make sure the day went smoothly for the athletes.

I found some video clips from the race to give you a glimpse of what the day was like. Sorry, I haven’t figured out how to get the video on to the blog.

Here’s a link to a video of the swim start. It’s incredible to see how many athletes there were, all starting the swim at the same time!

After the swim, the athletes go into the first transition area where volunteers are standing by ready to strip them out of their wetsuits. It’s kind of fun to watch. I found a video of it.

And one more video. All about the fans.

Enjoy!

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We just got home from a long weekend in Coeur D’Alene for the 2008 Ironman triathlon. Oh, and it also counted as our 15 year wedding anniversary trip. Somewhat apropos don’t ya think? Celebrating 15 years of marriage with a 2.5 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride topped off with a full marathon. The two events share a few similarities. They both require endurance, training, patience and long-suffering. There are moments of triumph and celebration as well as moments of humility and discouragement involved in both. Encouragement from your spouse is helpful. It’s also nice to get photos of both along the way. So here are a few pictures from our weekend.

Ralf was interviewed by a local news station before the race began. You can see the interview here.

Transition bags. Lots and lots of transition bags.

First event, the 2.5 mile swim. All 2,200 athletes getting ready for the start.

The media.

The rescue team in case there are any sinkers in the group.

And the gun goes off! All 2,200 athletes start at the same time!

In a flurry of arms and legs they brave the 57 degree water.

Finally, after 50 minutes, the first pros are out and on to the bike transition.

With a solid swim, he’s off.

Even with very little training this year he set a Personal Record on the bike.

Here’s the Ironman marketplace where I spent some of the 10+ hours, browsing.

Only 26.2 more miles to go!

Nearing the finish. He’ll be surprised to find out how well he did!

Recovery time. That awesome tin foil they get to wear keeps them warm.

He did awesome! Much better than he thought, finishing in 10 hours 35 minutes. He didn’t train as much as usual but still made great time. Although he hit the wall at mile 17 on the run and had a fender bender on the bike, he still really enjoyed the race, looks forward to his next Ironman and considers this race a great experience. All the while I followed his progress, hustling from one transition point to another throughout the day. I cheered him on as well as hundreds of his fellow racemates. I even made a cute sign to hold up.

An Ironman distance triathlon is a long stinking race! And fifteen years sometimes seems like a long stinking time to be married. But, with a lot of work, some encouragement for each other, and plenty of fun, we’re looking forward to the next fifteen years.


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We just got home from a long weekend in Coeur D’Alene for the 2008 Ironman triathlon. Oh, and it also counted as our 15 year wedding anniversary trip. Somewhat apropos don’t ya think? Celebrating 15 years of marriage with a 2.5 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride topped off with a full marathon. The two events share a few similarities. They both require endurance, training, patience and long-suffering. There are moments of triumph and celebration as well as moments of humility and discouragement involved in both. Encouragement from your spouse is helpful. It’s also nice to get photos of both along the way. So here are a few pictures from our weekend.

Ralf was interviewed by a local news station before the race began. You can see the interview here.

Transition bags. Lots and lots of transition bags.

First event, the 2.5 mile swim. All 2,200 athletes getting ready for the start.

The media.

The rescue team in case there are any sinkers in the group.

And the gun goes off! All 2,200 athletes start at the same time!

In a flurry of arms and legs they brave the 57 degree water.

Finally, after 50 minutes, the first pros are out and on to the bike transition.

With a solid swim, he’s off.

Even with very little training this year he set a Personal Record on the bike.

Here’s the Ironman marketplace where I spent some of the 10+ hours, browsing.

Only 26.2 more miles to go!

Nearing the finish. He’ll be surprised to find out how well he did!

Recovery time. That awesome tin foil they get to wear keeps them warm.

He did awesome! Much better than he thought, finishing in 10 hours 35 minutes. He didn’t train as much as usual but still made great time. Although he hit the wall at mile 17 on the run and had a fender bender on the bike, he still really enjoyed the race, looks forward to his next Ironman and considers this race a great experience. All the while I followed his progress, hustling from one transition point to another throughout the day. I cheered him on as well as hundreds of his fellow racemates. I even made a cute sign to hold up.

An Ironman distance triathlon is a long stinking race! And fifteen years sometimes seems like a long stinking time to be married. But, with a lot of work, some encouragement for each other, and plenty of fun, we’re looking forward to the next fifteen years.


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Dirt. Smoke. Dirt. Flashlights. Sticky and charred marshmallows. Dirt. Tents. Porta-Pottys. Dirt. Sleeping bags. Bugs. Dirt. Dirt. Dirt. Did I mention Dirt? Sound familiar? Give me your hand and I’ll count the number of times I’ve been camping. Not a big fan. Last weekend found us camping, dirt and all, for the first time as an entire family. Here’s what I learned:

1. Two chairs might have been great before kids, but now we’re four chairs short.

2. He’s still got a way with the ladies.

3. It’s lookin’ like we may be making a large investment in the future.

4. When you’re the littlest guy around, it’s wise to find a big friend.

5. When you’re a 9-year-old boy, it’s just not cool to smile, even after catching a bunch of beautiful brook trout that your grandpa would be proud of.

6. Speaking of cool…Apparently sleeping with your friends in the bed of a pick-up is a lot cooler than sleeping with your parents and little brothers in a tent.

7. It’s best to just look away when you see your 13-year-old daughter pulling the truck around with your husband hanging off the side.

8. Always keep a camera handy in case you get a shot like this.

9. You know you’ve been camping too long when this looks better than the Porta-Potty!

8. Make a note of the cute little town so next time you can jump ship and go shopping instead.

9. I may never get used to the sight of someone walking a random farm animal down the road.

10. We really do love living here.

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Dirt. Smoke. Dirt. Flashlights. Sticky and charred marshmallows. Dirt. Tents. Porta-Pottys. Dirt. Sleeping bags. Bugs. Dirt. Dirt. Dirt. Did I mention Dirt? Sound familiar? Give me your hand and I’ll count the number of times I’ve been camping. Not a big fan. Last weekend found us camping, dirt and all, for the first time as an entire family. Here’s what I learned:

1. Two chairs might have been great before kids, but now we’re four chairs short.

2. He’s still got a way with the ladies.

3. It’s lookin’ like we may be making a large investment in the future.

4. When you’re the littlest guy around, it’s wise to find a big friend.

5. When you’re a 9-year-old boy, it’s just not cool to smile, even after catching a bunch of beautiful brook trout that your grandpa would be proud of.

6. Speaking of cool…Apparently sleeping with your friends in the bed of a pick-up is a lot cooler than sleeping with your parents and little brothers in a tent.

7. It’s best to just look away when you see your 13-year-old daughter pulling the truck around with your husband hanging off the side.

8. Always keep a camera handy in case you get a shot like this.

9. You know you’ve been camping too long when this looks better than the Porta-Potty!

8. Make a note of the cute little town so next time you can jump ship and go shopping instead.

9. I may never get used to the sight of someone walking a random farm animal down the road.

10. We really do love living here.

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