Friday, January 8, 2010

Time Warp

Once again I find my my tendency to procrastinate has gotten the better of me.  I had a few BIG things happen in recent months that I just have kept putting off posting.  I mean, who has the time to go through all those photos that come with BIG events anyways, especially when some of those are unplanned and unwanted?

However, with the New Year I pulled out my old journal.  The one that hasn't been cracked open for far too long.  I realized that I needed to take the time to write down the events of the past few months as soon as I could before I lose the chance forever, both privately and here.

So, time to warp back to:

St. George Marathon
October 3, 2009

I ran my second marathon last October after many long months of training.

I stayed with Chris' aunt, Cathy, who lives in St. George.  She has run over 30 marathons (I forget the exact number)!!  She is a blast.  I had so much fun riding to the start line with her and waiting for the race to begin (even if it was super cold!)  We were only able to run about a mile or two together before she stopped to unlayer some clothes.  I was in a good rhythm, though, and in a marathon, if you've got a good pace going, you KEEP MOVING.

I had a rough time through miles 9-13, but eventually got back with it.  This put me way behind the pace I had been shooting for (4:45:00).  I was able to slowly close the gap but by mile 20 I realized the only way to even get close to my goal was to run the remaining 6 miles at 10 minutes/mile.  That is pretty fast for me and to try to run faster for the last miles of a marathon is not easy.

The crowds were great which really helped.  The best was seeing a sea of blue shirts that read, "My mom has nine kids AND ran a marathon.  What does your mom do?"  My training partner, Lisa, was that mom, of course, and it was fun to see her family waiting to cheer her on.  This is a picture of us together just after she finished.  I am so proud of you, Lisa!!

My chip time (actual, official time it took me from start to finish) was 4:47:53, about 21 minutes faster than my 2002 time!

When Chris and I ran in 2002 Brandon was 4 and Sam was 3.  Brandon is almost as tall as I am now!

On the way to St. George I picked up my mom from the Grand Canyon.  She kept the kids at a hotel and brought them to the finish line.  Watching four kids in a crowd that size is stressful.  Thanks for your help, Mom!!

Fall Break 2009
(a.k.a. Mom's Marathon Recovery)
October 3-10, 2009

After the marathon my mother took the kids to lunch so I could shower.  We then piled into the van and headed back to the Grand Canyon.  The kids had the whole next week of school off so we stayed and explored.  Actually, they did more exploring than I did.  I laid in misery recovering from my run and heat exhaustion.  Good thing I had Mumma and Daddy to take care of me.

Speaking of my daddy, if you visit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon you're likely to see him.  Mechanically speaking, he and his co-workers in the maintenance department keep the place running.  You probably won't see my mother.  She works in "the dungeon," a.k.a. the warehouse.  And unfortunately, you won't see many pictures of her in this post, despite how involved she was.  She was either out of shot chasing kids or behind the camera.  Proof that motherhood never ends, I guess.

Grammie and Grampa had to work Monday so the kids asked if I would take them on a hike.  "Ummmm...surrrrrrre," says I thinking of how I can't even walk down stairs.  Hiking down a canyon path sounds like "fun!"  We went out Bright Angel Point.  If you know me well, you know I'm slightly afraid of heights and a very anxious person.  But I was brave enough to take four children out there by myself, stiff-legged and all.  Look at their faces.  It was so worth it.

This was actually the most comfortable I've ever felt out on that trail.  They were so well behaved.  Brandon marched them in a line, alternating big kids and little kids, and would turn around every few yards and ask how I was doing.  "No running!  March, march, march...You OK, Mom?"  The tourists seemed to get a kick out of our little brood, too.

I wonder how many more of these nice mother-son pictures I'll get before Brandon sticks to the scowling face...I love this gnarly tree Sam is sitting in.  I took a few shots of just the the tree for my art files.  Matthew was a bit surprised by the Canyon view on the other side of the rock we're sitting on.  And Elizabeth was just thrilled to be out with all the big kids.

Everybody wanted a turn with the camera and a turn in front of it with me. I can't remember which child took which shot but each of these were taken by a different kid. Even Elizabeth took one of these.

Here's my best 3D picture from this trip.  If you haven't seen one of these before, here's how to view it: (1) slightly cross your eyes while looking at the two pictures until a third one appears in the middle. (2) Slowly focus on the middle picture until you see the 3D effects.

A few days later Grammie and Grampa woke up Brandon and Sam early.

They took them on a mule ride down into the Canyon to the Havasupai Tunnel.

Brandon rode T.J.

Sam rode Gus.

They had a great time.

And it looks like Grammie and Grampa had no problem keeping them in line.

The rest of us went to the corral to meet them when they returned.  "Hmmm...where are they?"

"Let's go for another hike while we wait."

"Still not back?  Let me rest here in the sun for a moment.  You two play with the camera...."

Funny kids.  That whole day Elizabeth kept warning everyone to "watch out for mool poop."

"Yeah, that seems right."

Grampa took all the boys camping one night to fulfill some Scout requirements.  Unfortunately for them, it snowed and rain.

Fortunately for us that meant we got a whole day and night for just the girls.

Brandon's Birthday
October 22, 2009

Brandon turned 11 in October.

He asked for a Squirtle Jack-O-Lantern cake (his way of combining Pokemon with Halloween and his birthday.)  It looked horrible but tasted yummy.  Since it looked so bad we thought it would be funny to give him some of the eyeballs we made as one of the party activities.

One of his gifts was Harry Potter Clue.  It is such a fun game!

We played the toilet paper mummy race game.

Which the boys quickly morphed into this game/mess!

In November he was recognized in his Pack Meeting for earning the Arrow of Light, the highest award given in Cub Scouting.  Now that he is eleven he is in Boy Scouts.

The Holidays
Thanksgiving and Christmas 2009

Can you tell Chris was excited about our first holiday season in our new home?  My parents were able to join us for Thanksgiving again this year.  After we stuffed ourselves silly we watched the kids decorate the Christmas tree.

After seeing how sad that old, tiny tree looked in our empty front room with vaulted ceilings, Chris took the boys out to surprise me with a giant pre-lit tree.  He wanted so much for this Christmas to be special.

However, December ended up being the toughest month of one of our most difficult years.  Monday, the 7th, I received a call from the hospital that he had been admitted to the emergency room for chest pains.  They kept him overnight and ran every test imaginable.

He had driven himself there so I had to get a ride.  My home teacher and his wife drove me to the hospital and arranged for a member of the bishporic to meet us there.  These good men gave Chris a priesthood blessing, brought me dinner, and drove dinner over to the children.  The next day my visiting teacher watched Elizabeth so I could pick Chris up and bring him home.  That night she brought over a delicious dinner.

The doctors said they did not believe that he had had a heart attack, but that he did have high cholesterol.   About 11:30 the following Sunday night he asked me to drive him back.  He was having really bad chest pains again.  After running a few tests they cleared him of any heart problems or lung issues.

It ended up that this Christmas really was special.  Chris was feeling better by then and we finally feel "at home" with our new area and ward.  The wonderful thing about being on the receiving end of service is you get a chance to see how much you are loved.  Loved by those that serve you as well as by our Heavenly Father.  I couldn't have asked for a better gift.

*  *  *

Boy, time warping is exhausting, huh?

Kudos to you if you read through all that!  Hopefully I can keep up with myself this year!


Anonymous said...

Fun to see it all in pictures! You look so happy and great after the marathon! Thanks for waiting soooo long for me to finish! It really meant a lot to me.

We will have to plan a trip to the Grand Canyon this summer.

mikieg250 said...

Thats a ot of catching up in one post, thanks for sharing, I would like to know what you do for the 3D picture, just two pictures or a special camera, Hope Chris is doing well.

Tjschoenwald said...


Kristal said...

:) Thanks, Tor!

Mike, taking the 3D pics is easy! Basically just square yourself up to the subject, place your weight on your right foot and snap a picture, then on your left to take the second picture. Search "3D" on my blog to see more of them and find the links to more info.

Melanie Nielsen said...

We LOVE our Harry Potter clue game! It's the best! Looks like you had a fun packed end of the year!

AZSMITHS said...

Loved catching up! The Grand Canyon pictures were great! It makes me want to go there again, except it was so scary with all the kids! Maybe when they're older!!

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