Saturday, October 31, 2015

This week

While we were gone Andrew lost another tooth.  I don't think my heart can take it.  This little snaggle tooth boy is just getting cuter.
Sunday afternoon Renee (and my father in law, Fred) took Andrew for his birthday date.  He chose to go to McDonald's (You're welcome, Katie!) and Build A Bear.  That boy loves a stuffed animal.  He had a blast.  I love the traditions that our family has set up for our boys.

Andrew got to ride the carousel at the mall.  He really did have a good time.  There was a girl beside him that insisted on talking to him.  When he got off the ride he said, "Well, that was weird."  Ha!

Monday was actually his birthday!  We celebrated with our typical donuts.  Aunt Janice even sent 10 one dollar bills for us to hide around the house.

Fred and I went to lunch with the birthday boy.  Good times.  His teacher even gave him a crown.

Initially, Andrew wanted to go to McDonald's for his birthday supper, but he changed his mind to Incredible Pizza.  We had a lovely low key evening of birthday fun.  Andrew even got to spin the birthday wheel.
Tuesday was 1980's day at the younger boy's school.  Fred tight rolled their jeans, we turned up their collars, and we put them in high top tennis shoes.  Done.  Jack wanted to know if that's how "they" did it in the 80's.  I assured him that's how "we" did it in the 80's.  Ha!

Thursday night we had Andrew's party.  There was pizza, cake, soda, and Nerf guns.  Andrew wanted to have Nerf gun wars and eat gummy worms out of whipped cream.  We did both of those things, plus we played hide and seek. A good time was had by all!

 Andrew's special friend came to his birthday party.  Ray is the one who gave Andrew the presents to open each day until his birthday.
 Everybody is about to dig in to the whipped cream to find the gummy worms.

Because Clayton made the honor roll at school he got to go to the Corn Maze.  He and his buddy had the best time.  

Friday night we had a Trunk of Treat at church.  Clayton went as Napoleon Dynamite.  We think he nailed it!  

Andrew was Hawkeye from the Avengers. 

Jack went as a Ninja.  

Clayton didn't go to the Trunk or Treat except for a little while.  He went to his first middle school dance with his buddy.  Gulp.  He said he had a good time, but he didn't dance.  Are we really at this point?!?

Saturday morning all football games were canceled, but this guy had try outs for All Southwest Honor Choir. We had to leave the house by 7:45 am.  I was up, dressed and ready.  I was home by 10:00 am and back in my pajamas...which is where I plan on staying all day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ragnar Relay Race 2015

Sunday afternoon when this thing was all over I spoke with my mother. She said, "I think this relay is about the craziest thing you and Fred have ever done."  I think she's correct. So,  I thought I'd start from the top and explain what all we did.
A Ragnar team is comprised of 12 people.  We had two teams (of 12) called Memphis Grit and Memphis Grind.  Running with two teams of 12 allowed everyone to have a partner.  We all left Memphis at 12:30 pm for Nashville to pick up our 15 passenger vans.
Each team of 12 had a van 1 and a van 2.  I was in van 1 on team Grind.  All four vans left Nashville and headed to Murfreesboro to eat dinner at Olive Garden.
After dinner we loaded up and headed to Chattanooga.  We checked in our hotel for a good 5 hours of sleep.  I think my alarm clock was set for 4:45 am (3:45 am central. Yikes.).  We kissed our hot shower and bed good by and headed to the start line at 5:30 am.  Van 1 from team Grit and team Grind left at this point.  Vans 2 were back at the hotel sleeping.  Here we are at the starting line.
Before our first runner left we had to watch a safety video and do several other things to check in.  We were given safety flags that had to be used each time someone crossed the street.  If a runner had to cross the street, someone had to escort them.  I think at one point I may have had a little too much fun with the safety flags.  
Our first two runners (Again, we are running two teams concurrently.) left around 6:30 am.  Since we ran in the dark you had to have safety gear on during dark hours...5:00 pm to 7:30 am.  
After they left the remaining team members loaded the van and arrived at our pick up point. We had a "race bible" that contained all the information you could possibly need: pick up locations, drop off locations, major exchanges (I'll explain later.), rules for each leg, etc. It was intense. 

My first leg was 3.1 miles.  About a mile of it was literally uphill.  I'm here with my partner, Amy. 

After the run, before you get back in the van, you have to stretch wherever you get a chance.  Ha!
Sometimes, you don't have time to stretch before you get in the van.  
You drive to the next pick up.  Once your runners finish they get in the van and the second runner gets out.  Then the cycle repeats itself until all six runners in van 1 have cycled through.  
Here is a pick up location: (and you should know they passed out temporary tattoos.  Good times.)
Once all 6 runners have run their leg we meet up with van 2 at what is called a major exchange.  We then passed off to them.  While van 2 was running, van 1 went to Cracker Barrell.  When we are running all there is to eat is water, bananas, Clif bars, granola bars.  I'm telling you, I've never tasted a Cracker Barrell that was so good.  It's the best meal I've ever eaten.  Ha!  Then we headed to a park and rested any place we could find.  Several of our team members napped on picnic tables.  
Our first leg was complete by 11:00 am.  Then around 4:00 pm our van took over again.  (I'm not really sure what van 2 did at this point. We were running. I'm sure they did much of what we did.)

We are here waiting at the second major exchange.  At major exchanges there are sleep areas, opportunities for food, and port-a-potties.  Oh, the port-a-potties. 

Vans 1 headed out around 4:30 pm.  Amy and I ran our second leg beginning at 8:30 pm (We were runners 5 in our vans.)  We ran 4 miles through the back side of nowhere.  It was a good thing we had head lamps on our heads because at times that was the only light we had.  Whew, it was dark.
Our van finished up around 9:30 pm.  We grabbed a sandwich from Arby's and then drove to the next major exchange to sleep while van 2 was running.  I "slept" for about 2-3 hours on the floor of our van.  Some people slept on the gym floor.  Some people just slept outside.  Just wherever you could find a spot to grab some sleep, basically.  There were also showers here and real bathrooms.  None of our team showered.  We chose sleep.  We didn't go all weekend without cleaning up though.  We had baby wipes.  Duh. (I can not possibly describe how nasty my hair was by the end of this thing!)

Van 2 came running in around 3:30 am.  At that point we headed out for our final leg.  
My final leg was 5.2 miles.  And we finished up our run around 7:30 am and then the last runners from van 1 headed out.  Our vans passed it over to van 2 around 8:30 am. 
 We tried to look really sad and tired.  It took me a while to get this picture without smiling.  

Done with our 3 legs.  Done and done.  

We headed for our last major exchange at that point and handed it off to van 2.  Vans 1 went to Puffy Muffin in Franklin, TN for a little breakfast.  Look at all those delicious pastries.  That is why we run, people.  

After breakfast we settled in the parking lot of the Wolfchase Galleria to rest while van 2 finished up.  Some of the girls (and one guy) even had our hair washed at JC Penny.  It's the best $25 I've ever spent.  
After a little while we met van 2 at the finish line.  We all ran across the finish line together.  Here is Memphis Team Grit and Grind.  

Here's Memphis Team Grind, Van 1.  

 And here's my favorite fella.  I'm so thankful we got to run this together.

Each team of 12 was presented a medal.  When we laid the medals out they looked like this...
We did it!  Each time I run a race I marvel at God's goodness to allow me the health to finish something like this.  This last year has been a battle for me, as far as my health goes.  Health is certainly not something I take for granted.  

24 friends + 4 vans + 2 days + 1 night + 200 mile relay = Unforgettable Stories

Would I do it again?  Ummm...I'll have to get back to you on that one!  I sure will cherish the memories that I have from this one though!  

One of our team members made a video of the weekend.  Enjoy!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

It just keeps going

We came in from Big South Fork and I dumped the dirty laundry in the washing machine and had the boys out the door by 10:30 am the next morning...about 14 hours after we got home.  This also included a trip to Academy Sports.  Good times.
The big boys left for RA Camporee in Linden, Tennessee.  I do not have any pictures, nor do I expect one.  I'm just hoping they take a shower.  Ha!
One of the leaders took this picture though. That's a sweet group of guys and leaders.  I love how they invest in my boys.

While the big boys are away Andrew had a rare treat of being the only child.  So...
We went out to eat...

And then we got frozen yogurt with no limitations.  Andrew chose strawberry yogurt, salted caramel yogurt, and spiced apple pie yogurt (in one bowl.  Gag.)  Then he topped it with Trix cereal, Lucky Charms cereal, and yogurt chips.  Sounds gross to me, but he ate it.  

The Memphis Tigers played Ole Miss at 11:00 am Saturday morning.  With the anticipation of terrible traffic we headed out at 7:30 am.  We stopped at Chick Fil A on the way and it was crazy.  I've never seen so much chicken leave a store.  I thought at any moment they were going to come out and tell me they had run out of chicken, but they never did.  With 5 orders of chicken mini's in hand we headed to meet up with our friends.
After we hung out in the parking lot for a while we headed in to a packed Liberty Bowl for a Tiger victory!

 Since Andrew was the only child he got to get a beloved Tom the Tiger stuffed animal.  He has had his eye on Tom since the first game.  Mercy me that boy loves a stuffed animal.
We also had the wedding of a sweet couple at church.  It was the perfect day for a beautiful wedding.
Keeping the theme of only child...Andrew got to have Zachary over for the evening.  These two are cousins, but they are friends as well.  It is so fun to listen to them talk and play without older or younger siblings around.  They are too sweet.
After this picture was taken Zachary informed me that he didn't really like pizza.  He would like a donut for dinner.  Sure thing.  Then he had a donut for breakfast.  Well...technically....he and Dash had a donut for breakfast.  And they shared a sausage and biscuit.

Jack did not get to see the Memphis vs. Ole Miss game.  He watched it later with Fred.  Too sweet.  That boy loves a football game.

Actaully, Dash has been a naughty, naughty dog.  He ate my breakfast Monday and was not even sorry.  Look at that dog not even acting sorry.  Bad dog.
Then later in the week he got groceries off the dining room table and helped himself.  For all my dog loving people, he did not eat the grapes.  He just scattered them across the floor.
 However, the bread wasn't so lucky.

 Does this not look like he's saying, "I would say I'm sorry, but I'm totally not.  It was worth it!"???

I RSVP'd for a wedding this week.  Man, things have changed since we got married in 2000.  I've said it before and I'll say it again...I sure am glad I did not get married or have children in the Pinterest age!  
This online RSVP wanted to know what song we would like played at the reception for us to "get down and boogie".  How cute is that?!?  You'll be pleased to know I did not request anything.  
Speaking of music selections...I tried these pants on the other day and I could not quit singing MC Hammer's song, Can't Touch This.  I laughed and laughed in that dressing room.

Andrew's birthday is this week.  A precious lady at our church gave Andrew a basket of presents.  He is to open one up each day to his birthday.  Do you think he looks a little excited?!?  

Fred and I left for a relay race this weekend with this group of people.  I'm going to do a post on it later, but for now here's a picture of 23 of my friends that ran with me from Chattanooga to Nashville.  I'd run with them anywhere and any day of the week.