Friday, August 26, 2011

School Has Started

School started on Tuesday! Boy has this summer gone by. Fast at some times and slow at others. I do have to say though that I am excited to get back into a routine. More excited than ever before. But we are looking forward to new teachers and older grades. I am just in shock at how fast these kids are growing up. I just keep saying slow down but they won't listen to me.

Seth is in 3rd Grade and has Mrs. Evans. Damen had her last year and it should be another great year. When he went to find out who he had he came running back yelling, "Oliver's in my class, Oliver is in my class (next door neighbor and best friend). He didn't even know who his teacher was just that Oliver was in his class. That's all that mattered.

Damen is in 4th grade with Miss DeWitt. We hear she is a great teacher. I'm excited! He needs someone to push him harder. He's such a smart kid and sometimes gets overlooked and not pushed to his full potential. I hear his teacher will do this. She better!

Here's Seth's natural smile or at least the one he always does I had to tell him to give me some teeth which he did and I love how the next picture turned out of the two of them, or at least of Seth. Damen was getting impatient worried he would be late.

The wouldn't even let me take them to school on the first day. "No mom, we are fine we will just ride our bikes." What don't you still need me? Don't you need me to comfort you and take away all those butterflies in your stomach? I guess they are getting to big for that and just have to face life and act brave while they are doing it even if there are some butterflies. See I told you they were growing up too fast.

After going to school on the first day Seth got sick and has spent the last two days home with fever and throwing up. He's back to school this morning though. Boy aren't we off to a great start!

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Grand Teton Relay Part 2

here's another picture looking out towards the Tetons after we had finished running. The thing was after I got done (I was runner 11) our team split up runner 12 length which was the rest of the way up Targhee and down into the ski resort. Steve, Kyle and Kevin each took turns up the 4.5 miles. When we got there the other car wasn't there yet so Kyle just took off and started heading back down the road (only one way out). He'd gone a ways when the other car finally caught up to him and dropped off their guy but at least it didn't slow us down, we were still ahead of our projected schedule.

Here's me, Caralee and Robbi the three girls on the team.
We headed down to Victor and got a yummy breakfast at a cafe and went and laid down in the park waiting for the other van to get done with their runs before we headed out again.

This is a picture of Steve and Jon right after Jon got done with his second run. They were waiting to cross a pretty busy road.

Here's Steve prepping for his last run. This was what he had been preparing for for the last 3 months. He was running the pass that goes from Driggs in to Jackson Hole. It is way steep and one of the hardest runs, the only thing harder was running the whole thing down hill. But Steve would rather go up hill than down.

And there he is off. He really was excited to finally be running this run. How many people can say they ran this hard stretch of road!

This is one of my favorite pictures of Steve. It shows that the road was 10% grade and look at him he's still trucking away. There weren't a lot of places to park once he took off so they held us back for 20 minutes. When we finally got to go we kept thinking we would see Steve around the next corner and then he wouldn't be there. By the time we caught up to him we were shocked at how far he had gone he only had 1 mile to go of his 3 mile run.

He's running down the home stretch of his run, even this part though it was down hill cause he had just crested the top was hard, he said it really hurt his feet even though it was only about 1/4 of a mile

He's almost done and there's me in pink waiting to give him a big hug. I was so proud of him and what he had just accomplished. I couldn't cheer loud enough for him. I really hope I am like that in our marriage everyday because he deserves it.

See that grin on his face! He was just handing off to Kevin who had to run 5 miles all down 10% grade hill into Jackson.

Here's the 3 that climbed the pass, with Steves' being the steepest of it all. There's Kyle, Steve and Jon. See that sign in the back. I thought it was so funny "Be Bear Aware, Food Storage Required." I was explaining it to Damen when we got back to Mom and Dads saying that even bears have to eat so they can store up enough for their long winter nap so people needed to be aware of the bears so they wouldn't get eaten. Steve and Dad started laughing and told me that's not what it meant. It meant to store away your own food so that bears wouldn't get into it. I have to say I like my explanation a lot better.

The two of us after Steves great run.

Then when Kevin was done it was my turn. I had another 4.7 left to run and I was feeling it. My body was aching my thighs were burning but I pulled out that "stick" and worked them over pretty good and just told myself to "do my best and forget the rest". I was doing good until they told me I had taken a wrong turn and had run maybe a 1/4-1/2 mile more than I had too (I wondered why I couldn't see any other runners) But I made it to my end spot only to think of what else we were going to have to run in 20 minutes. See the other car was going to take the 12th run but they decided to go home so once again we had to split up almost 5 miles. We decided we all better take our turn and run a little bit. So about ever mile we would pull over and switch runners. I was the last and ended up running into Teton Village where I met up with everyone else and we finished the race together. What an accomplishment. All that training all summer long had brought us to this point and it felt GREAT! Yeah I wish I could improve on my time and there's always next year but for never having even run a 5 K we were pretty proud of ourselves!

Kyle, Kevin, Steve, Erika, Jon

See you again next year guys. We will be back!

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Grand Teton Relay part 1

Last spring Jon called and asked if Steve and I wanted to be in the Grand Teton Relay. We were very hesitant, not having ever ran any race before. But we knew that this would definitely force us to get into shape so after a lot of prodding Steve agreed to run it with me. Chris, Caralee, Jon and then Steve and Me as well as two other cousins were going to run it. We thought it would be a fun family bonding thing. In the end both cousins couldn't do it and Chris and Caralee ended up in another car but it was still fun to work towards this goal all summer long and push each other with running even when we were on vacation.

This race consisted of running 184 miles between 12 people. Each person would run 3 different legs of the race and we would run then rest while the other car ran and then we would be up again and do that 3 times. Yeah like Steve said the morning of. Hey I have an idea why don't we get 12 crazy people to see if we can run from here to Jackson Hole without sleep and eating like crap, Doesn't that sound like fun! Well that's basically what we did. I still don't think Steve was convinced he was having fun until the end.

I went down to Richfield early Thursday morning to drop the kids off, Mom and Dad were kind enough to watch them for 3 nights (not sure they will do that again for a while). Then I came back picked up Steve and headed up to Jons house near Rexberg. Yea for those keeping track that's 8 hours in a car but can I tell you it's doable when you don't have kids! We pulled in late and had ice cream and went to bed.

The next morning we woke up in time for the other half of our team to show up and take a picture before they headed out to run. We were the second car so we didn't have to start running for another 6 hours.

Here's a team picture minus Kyle (he was in our car and came later and yes you will count that there are only 10 there so you add Kyle and we only had 11, we were down a man.)

So once we headed out and got going things started to get funner. We had time for a few shots to take away a few butterflies.

Me and Steve before the sweat and stink started to coat our bodies. So Jon took off first and ran 8.5 then it was Kyles turn and man was he fast. We were a little embarrassed of what our times would be after watching him go but then Steve was up to run. He had a good incline on his first run but knew if he did his scout pace if he had to (run 100 walk 100) he would be fine.

Here's Steve about to start his run. He was anxious to just get out and go!

Using the "stick" to roll out his muscles. That thing was such a blessing. I either have to get one or make one it was amazing.

Here's our car all decked out. Our team name was 4 sores and 7 blisters ago. Next year I think we decided that we would go with The Grand Teton Colon Cleanse!

Kyle came in and handed off to Steve and he was off. The funny thing is, see the half naked guy there, he watched Steve for a minute and turned to one of his teammates and says "man that old guy is flyin" Steve heard him but didn't even realize that he was talking about him. We knew he was and thought he was some arrogant jerk so we tried to push Steve to stay ahead and beat the guy the whole time. But he ended up passing Steve and came in right before. Steve and him ended up being friends and pushing each other the whole time, we called him "pace car" He was a little relieved to find out that he was only having to keep up with a 37 year old instead of some 50 year old. He was only 28 and almost pucked when he was done.

There he is finally off and running!

here he is climbing his hill

There he is handing off to Kevin, who was another great runner. He did a 10 mile run all down hill and made it in great time.

Here Kevin is handing off to me. I started running about 8 o'clock at night and had a 6.5 run in front of me, but it was mainly down hill. It felt great to be running and I felt like I was flying. I was probably going faster than I should have been but it felt good. That was until about mile 3 when my feet were killing me and I felt like I was getting some serious blister on my feet but we kept going and pushed until we were done which was about 8:54. I had just ran faster than ever before. Normally I run a 10 minute mile but I crushed that and I actually felt it later.

Yeah the only picture they got of me was blurry! We got right in the car and headed off to get some dinner. I had needed to use the bathroom and then had to wait an hour. I also hadn't eaten or drank anything and really I thought I was going to loose it all out both ends to be frank. The feeling was the one I get when I have seizures and I got pretty scared there for a while. Once I found a bathroom and got food in me I felt a little better and by the time I had to run again the next morning I was feeling fine but there were many prayers said in the mean time. We handed off to the other car so they could run the 12th runner spot (remember we were down a runner, they took that one and we took the other 2 times), but it mean we got more sleep time.

We were able to sleep from about 11 til 1:00 and then we were off to let Jon start the process all over again. This is a picture at the top of Targhee. Steve had his easy run at about 2:30 in the morning and actually struggled. It was all flat and he ran the whole thing but he had slower times then he had for his hard hill runs. I think he just hadn't prepared for this run like he had for the others and it just got the best of him. That or it was 2:30 in the morning, that alone can do wonders to a run.

Another shot looking down from Targhee, the road I had just ran up.

When it was my turn to run I had another 6 miles in front of me I knew it was up hill and would climb about 700 ft. But I have no concept of how steep that is and spreading it out over 6 miles didn't help that. But it was dark and I just ran. I think it helped me to not know how steep it was. Mentally I think I would have broken down. I still had to do the run walk thing towards the end. I wasn't going to but when Steve told me that I was only going 4 mph I figured why not power walk and then run, it helped a lot and at the end of my run I felt so much better than I had after my first run. I still beat my projected time which I was quite happy about!

I know you are all jealous of what we did especially when you see these amazing pictures of where we were running. Ok maybe jealous isn't the right word but it definitely was beautiful. Now if we could run again in the places that we ran at night just so we can see how beautiful those places were.

To be continued in the next post because I don't want to individually add photos and it wouldn't bring them all up at once in this one.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Damen's Talk on the Holy Ghost

Here's the talk Damen gave at Seth's Baptism. He had some help from his Dad but a lot was his own thoughts.

Seth and Rachel you have just been baptized. You are clean. You have, in a way, been born again. when you were born as new babies you took upon you the last name of your Dads. Rachel you took the name of Pittard. Seth you took the name of James. Your parents made sure you had food to eat, clothes to wear and a house to live in. And most important made sure you felt safe, and loved.

By being baptized you now join a new family, you take upon yourselves the name of Christ. I can tell you he is one amazing parent. In the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross he took responsibility for all the mistakes and bad things you will do. He made a way for you to come to this earth to learn from the good and bad things that we do every day. He made it possible so that we can go back to heaven again. He has given us lots of gifts hasn't he?

In a few minutes your Dad's are going to lay their hands on your head and through the Priesthood, confirm you members of His Family. And they will say unto you receive the Holy Ghost. You will then be able to use on of the greatest Gifts that He gives us in this life.

Seth do you remember when we hiked up to the Y on the mountain. You went through a narrow gate at the start of the trail. Baptism is sometimes called a gate. When you went through that gate were you at the Y? No, you still had a long way to go. The Holy Ghost is your hiking partner. He helps you stay on the right trail. He tells you "you can make it." He warns you of danger. And when yo need water he gives it to you. Jesus is sometimes called the living water. When you think you can't make it, he can even push you up the trail. The Holy Ghost's job is to help us to the top of the trail or to bring you back to the presence of Jesus.

There was a time when I was reading a scripture in Matthew about Jesus being baptized and when he came up out of the water. The Holy Ghost came and gave me a warm feeling and helped me to know that it really happened to Jesus and that I had made the right choice by being baptized. I am proud that you guys made the same choice to be baptized. I hope you feel the spirit when you are given the Holy Ghost.

I know God loves me and I know He loves you. I hope that I can, and that Seth and Rachel can, and that everybody in this room can truly learn how to receive the Holy Ghost.

In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Seth's Baptism

Seth was baptized on Saturday. He was so excited. He's had to wait extra long since we were in Oregon when he was originally supposed to be baptized. But he was patient with us and did his best to be extra good and learn all he needed to in the month and a half prior to being baptized. Grandma and Grandpa Bailey came up and stayed with us and the night before and gave him a nice shirt and tie. He was so excited and so was I (I was going to go early the next morning and buy one). He looked so sharp and all gown up! On Saturday he was up early and wanting to get dressed in his clothes. He bugged me from about 9:00 on (he wasn't baptized until 2:30), but all I could do was just smile and say not yet.

He went into the office to talk to Steve about everything and they ended up having a really neat experience where they actually knelt down and prayed together. Both came away having felt the spirit and ready to go participate in the ordinance. Steve wrote a poem about it the next day.

Father and Son, Kneeling as one
On Seth's Baptism Day
Their hearts turning, Their souls yearning
Seeking forgiveness and love.

Father and Son, Looking down as one
On Seth's Baptism Day
Their hearts turning, Their souls yearning
Waiting to give forgiveness and love

Father's and Son's, United as one
On Seth's Baptism Day
All hearts turning, All souls burning
Basking in Forgiveness and Love

When all were ready and the cookies put out, but covered we walked out back to take a few pictures of this beautiful, momentous day.

Seth was baptized and confirmed by Steve. It was a special day, one that we shared with another little girl in the ward. Also one that Seth has had a crush on for the past 2 years, but that made it only a little funner watching those two. Because there were two we only got to plan half the baptism. I said a prayer, all the kids sang "I know my father Lives" and then Damen gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. He did such a good job. So many people have commented on his talk. I will post it tomorrow just so we can remember it.

We all came back to the house after and had tons and tons of treats. I didn't take pictures of any of that cause I was too busy talking to people. But we are grateful for all those who came and supported Seth. He truly is such a great kid, who tries so hard to do what is right.

It was kind of funny. When he went in for his baptismal interview, the bishop asked him why he wanted to be baptized. Seth said so he could go back and live with Heavenly Father again. Then the bishop said well what is it you are promising when you get baptized and Seth just said, "I'm promising that I will go back and live with him someday" How can you get more simple and straight forward than that. Granted that wasn't the answer that the bishop wanted so he proceeded to tell him that we are promising to keep the commandments, take his name upon us etc, etc, etc. When Steve told me this I really just had to laugh. Did he not listen to what Seth said, because if he had all those things are summed up with I'm promising that I will go back and live with him someday."

That night I was explaining to Seth that we now expected him to fast and how many meals that entails, but then realized that Grandma and Grandpa would need dinner before they headed north to Ogden so I had planned to have dinner before church. So I told Seth that this time he would only have to fast for breakfast because then we would eat. He said "NO mom, I can do all of it. I will fast 24/7." Well saith, you don't have to fast for 24/7 only 24 but he sure was willing and even told me that he would start fasting again after lunch until the next breakfast to make sure he got 2 meals in. Oh he so badly wants to do what is right and I love that about him. Seth we are so proud of you and your choice to be baptized and even more proud that we can call you our SON.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Highland Water Fountains

We have heard about these Water Fountains in Highland for a while but haven't been able to go when others had invited us, but Nat called the other day and invited us to go with her and the kids so we went and had a great time. Damen thought he was a little too old for all of it, even though there were plenty of teenagers having a great time, so he wouldn't show any emotion or proof that he actually liked it. But the rest of the kids had a great time and loved it. Thanks for inviting us Nat.

Seth and Railey

Seth and Kate

Damen refusing to get wet, probably to prove a point

Nat and me and the kids

Kenna trying to climb out of the "river"

couldn't resist this one even though her head is cut off. And to think those legs have actually gotten skinnier.

We did have a good time and it was refreshing to get wet on such a hot day. Thanks Nat and we definitely will go again.

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