Times and Sorensens

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Warrior Dash!

Leslie asked me to write my own post about an event I participated in called the Warrior Dash. It's a 5 kilometer run through a hilly area where many parts of the course are muddy. In addition it has about a dozen obstacles strewn through it, such as mud pits, cargo net or rope climb walls, or lines of fire to jump. I'd been wanting to do one of these mud run / obstacle race events for a while now, and this one was perfect because it occurs very close to where I live. It's held at Horning's Hideout, a place I've taken Joshua and Daniel fishing and disc golfing before.

It was amazing! I loved every moment of it! Part of it was being there with friends, part was having a new experience, and part was just the sheer joy of running through mud and climbing over obstacles -- the kind of fun children have and adults have forgotten.

It rained heavily for two days before the event (the first Saturday in September), but the weather that day was perfect, sunny skies and not too hot or cold. However, the rain meant that the entire trail was muddy, which is a bit more than they intended. I actually enjoyed it, because the mud and the crowds of people meant you couldn't run a whole lot of it. It was more of a Warrior "Lope" which is a pace I enjoy and I'm actually pretty good at picking out my steps where the footing is unsure. That's probably why I wasn't as muddy as most people even after going over and through a set of three mud hills and pits:

Those were right after the first obstacle, a large pond we had to wade through where the bottom was clingy mud and you never knew if your next step would be two feet deep or five. When I trained for this I didn't think ahead enough to realize I'd be running most of the way with soaking wet shoes that got even heavier after those mud pits. I felt like a Clydesdale with all that extra weight on my feet, but it didn't end up giving me trouble. I just learned to take really long strides so I didn't pick my feet up any more than I had to. And I was really glad for the calf raises I'd done, which helped a lot when I was pulling my feet out of the mud.

One of the obstacles that really held people up was a 20 foot wall you had to use a rope to climb, with the occasional 2x4 to get some footing. It was challenging enough going up, but then people at the top realized they had to go back down the other side the same way, only no 2x4's, just the rope. It was great!

One thing I enjoyed was that almost everyone was super friendly and easy to talk to. Also, many people went out of their way to help others who were having a hard time. I love the cooperation and camaraderie people express here. Fortunately, none was needed for one of the Warrior Dash's more popular obstacles:

When I first told my kids I would be jumping over fire they thought I was awesome, possibly for the first time ;). Then they saw some video of the fire obstacle on the Warrior Dash site and they were much less impressed. "Even a grandma could jump over that!" Joshua told me. How about it, Grandma?

With my kids in mind, I did choose the tallest flames to leap over. You don't do this sort of thing unless you enjoy pushing yourself, and I've got to say I would have done much better on the hurdles in high school P.E.'s track & field season if they'd been ON FIRE!

The last two obstacles were a giant mud pit with barbed wire over it so you had to get muddy in a big way and a long steep mud slide to the finish line. I think most people were more muddy than I was at the end. Obviously I did something wrong:

I'll just have to try even harder next year. I'm already registered!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Caden's Cast

Caden broke his arm on Labor Day and currently sports a bright pink cast to show for it. If you ask him what happened to his arm, he'll get a pained expression on his face and tell you, "It broke!" If you then ask him how it happened he'll say, "I fell off ladder." It's true, Jake was in the backyard trimming high branches and while he was hauling his latest batch off to the pile Caden climbed up the ladder and promptly fell off the third rung.

Having a little one in a cast is quite the conversation piece. Everyone asks about it and expresses sympathy (especially when he arranges his sweet face into that pained expression) and then has some sort of child-with-a-broken-bone story of their own to share. They are all surprised and amazed when I tell them that he's our fourth boy but yet our first cast.

He gets it off on Monday, it will have been only 3 weeks total in a splint/sling and cast. He looks forward to having his right arm back and Jake and I look forward to giving him regular baths again. Lucas doesn't because he's been getting special bubble baths in the meantime, but you know what they say about all good things.  I guess that applies to bad things too, because in just a few days this broken bone should be coming to an end.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

First Day of School!

School started the day after Labor Day and so far it's great!  The boys are really happy with their teachers and in their classrooms, and there's already lots of good work going on.  We are so pleased! 

Meanwhile, Lucas started preschool on Monday.  He is attending the same preschool Daniel did, the one we loved so much (Daniel still wishes he could go back).  I was thrilled to find out Lucas has the same teacher and classroom that Daniel did!  Miss Margaret (now Miss Maggie) left after Daniel's year but this is her first year back and I feel so lucky!

Putting on his name tag:

There's his cubby!

It was such a gorgeous day so I took Lucas & Caden to the park right next door afterward.  We had a bit of a gap between preschool ending and Caden's cast appointment (that's a post for another day...) so we headed over to have lunch and play for a bit:

Like I said, it was such a gorgeous day!

Friday, September 06, 2013

Seaside 2013

We headed to Seaside for our annual week-before-Labor-Day beach trip and had the best time! It really was such a great day spent together as a family. 

We'd let the older boys run ahead to get to the water while Jake and I carried things behind. When we finally arrived at our spot to set up the chairs, etc. we found a fun message written in the sand.  Apparently Daniel had taken a few moments to express his feelings about being there before heading off into the waves: 

Check out Daniel's wave-jumping on the left there.  I'm so glad I caught that!

Then off to the aquarium.  It's right there on the beach so we just walked over.  Caden was trying to get the fish to "bite" his finger here:

That greenish blob Caden is staring at is actually a sizable octopus:

Among other things, you can see Jake's poor sunburnt neck in this shot:

Notice Caden's retracted hands; he'd just touched something slimy and was feeling skittish.  Jake is trying to reassure him it's fine but he wasn't buying it:

Lucas, however, was totally okay with it!

Joshua's got a crab crawling on his hand, there:

This is the Lewis & Clark monument overlooking the beach at Seaside.  Joshua studied all about Lewis & Clark and the Oregon Trail during 4th grade and was excited to have his picture taken here:

We did so much more than the beach and aquarium, there is so much to do in Seaside and we really packed it in!  But I didn't get pictures of any of the rest -- too busy having fun!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Swim Lessons Summer 2013

Swim lessons this summer were great. The boys all made really good progress which I'm so happy about. And as a mom, I really appreciate that coordinating the 3 different class levels worked out pretty darn well. It meant spending all morning at the pool with a snack break in between classes but it was great to be outdoors soaking in all that vitamin D. Also as a mom I appreciate that our class times happened to match up with those of some friends, two friends in particular that I don't get to see nearly as much as I would like, so that was really nice.

Joshua doing breaststroke (he learned butterfly too this summer but I didn't get a picture of it):

Lucas and Daniel ended up with private lessons for the last session.  Score!

This one is too fun!  I think it captures Lucas' exuberance to a T:

There goes Daniel in the deep end.  He's come such a long way this summer:

 Caden wasn't old enough for lessons this summer, he has to wait 'til next year.  Even though it was a stretch for him to spend all that time at the pool and not get to swim, he gets points for being a real trooper.  Every day he brought a backpack full of toy vehicles and became very popular among all the other "little brothers" at the pool.  Way to make friends Caden and don't worry, you'll get your turn in the pool next summer!

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Mom's Birthday

I'll finish up all my posts about our CA trip on this high note. We were blessed to spend my Mom's birthday with her and enjoyed a special day together.  She decided that as a birthday present to herself she wanted to do a little photo shoot with the boys. They readily obliged and she used her photography talents to capture this treasure:

I've read about studies that show a sharp increase in endorphin release when a mother views pictures of her children. Well, this one does it for me four times over! Thank you so much Mom for giving such a great gift for your birthday!


We were able to take a fun trip on BART into the city to check out the Exploratorium in its new location.  Its really nice and our boys had a great time.  Except for Caden, who was just starting what turned out to be a long, drawn out illness that ended weeks later with a late night trip to urgent care.  

But anyway, this place was right up the boys' alley; experimenting with cause and effect, figuring out how things work, seeing neat real-life science applications, etc. and I'm really glad for all the Exploratorium-ing they got to do!

It was fun to be downtown!