Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kambria's 5 year and Eli's 18month Pics! :)

I am so glad Misty caught pics of Eli smiling! ....or at least they look like smiles! He has such a cute smile and does it often, but of course when we try and take pics of him he decides to get whiny. Kambria was great this time! She cooperated more than she ever has before for pics! :)

Thanks again Misty!! :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

"Catch-up" and Mustard

I am doing a "catch-up" post yet again! :)

These pics are from the last weekend of August when we went and had dinner with my parents and went swimming at an rv resort in Coeur' d Alene, Labor Day weekend (we went to Silverwood on Saturday and Monday), and the Spokane Interstate Fair about a week and a half ago.

It was fun to try and balance on this log! :) I wish I had a pic of Jon and I trying!

Kambria and Eli walking with Grandma and Grandpa K.

Labor Day Weekend
Saturday we went to Silverwood with Jon's mom, sister, and niece. It was a beautiful day! Not too hot, but warm enough to swim at Boulder Beach!
Kambria jumping a wave!

Grandma Watson and Daddy helping Kambria jump "super high" over the wave! :)

All wet and happy! :)

We forgot our stroller, first time we have done that, so we rented one.

About to start the train ride. We don't usually sit in the open middle car........ you will see why.....

That is a "cheesy" face! :)

Eli putting money in the "robbers" bag. Last year they collected thousands of dollars for the wishing star foundation! :)

These are the "robbers' " cabins and well.........

After the robbers get off the train one of them ends up in the well. Sometimes its the other robber and sometimes its the train conductor, but one of them throws a stick of fake dynamite into the well and makes water explode out of it. ......this is why we don't usually sit in the open middle car of the train!

......but we did on this day! Eli didn't like it so much! LOL!

He was better after the train when we went on the carousel! :)

Eli is watching daddy and Teri and they are going up, and up, and up, and up.......

so is Kambria as they go up, and up, and up, and up..........

......on Panic Plunge! :)

Always a smile after falling from the sky! :)

Monday, Labor Day
Back to Silverwood with Jon's work, Big T Roofing, and some other friends from our ward.....
....this time not such a nice day!!!! It rained......no, it dumped!
But we got this beautiful rainbow out of it! :)

Some of group still braved the weather and went swimming; even Kambria! When I got Kambria dressed and out of her swimming suit I had to put her wet clothes back on her. I wish I would have brought extras! Her towel helped keep her a little warm.

I let Eli ride the airplane ride for the first time! He loved it!!!! He had a big smile on his face the whole time! :)

Great Big Smile! He is getting so big!

Spokane Interstate Fair, Sept. 16th
Kambria loves the kid's maze house! Here she is coming down the slide at the end....

I was trying to get her to smile but instead she kept jumping up and down in excitement! :)

This swing ride came from Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch. It was purchased in an auction before he died.

Kambria wanted to ride the Llamas since that is all her cousin Audriana talked about after she went to the fair a few days before.

Eli didn't ride the llamas but was smiling and talking(gibber jabber) as his sister did! :)

The geese were talking...or maybe yelling at my dad! LOL!!!!

What does a cow say Eli? .....it said "moooooo" :)

Eli petting a goat

I think maybe we should have switched Kambria and Eli around! LOL!!! :) Cute anyway though!! :)

They were laughing so hard! Grandma K is helping Eli.

What a fun way to end our summer!!!! It was a great summer and very busy!!!! We didn't get as much done on our house as we should have so now it is time to cram for the next month!!!! We really wanted to go to Valleyfest this weekend but aren't going to be able to since we had so much fun this summer. Time to get to work! Hopefully I will have a post of our newly painted house in the next month!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Our 'AMAZING' MS Ride Journey

Long story.....I tried to make it as short as I could while still mentioning most of what went on......

Bike MS is a charitable event put on by the MS Society. It is to raise money to help fight and find a cure for MS. This one consisted of a 150 mile bike ride on The Trail of the Coeur d'Alene's between Mullan, ID and Plummer, ID; one way is about 75 miles. The first day you ride one way and the second day you follow the same trail back.
Our team name was Team Loretta Scott. Named after Loretta White, my friends' mom who just recently passed away after battling MS for many many years; and after Rhiannon's friend Scott, who was just recently diagnosed.

Saturday morning, bright and early, we headed out with our best friends, George and Rhiannon to Mullan, ID(about an hour and a half away). It actually took us a little longer to get there because my bonehead self thought that we were starting in Plummer. No, we were riding from Mullan to Plummer! LOL, at least it was a pretty drive! :) Anyway, a short time after arriving in Mullan we got checked in and got ready to head out on our 75 mile bike ride journey for the day. I made a quick phone call home to find out how Eli did when he woke up without me there in the morning. He did surprisingly well considering he is such a Momma's boy! Thank you Grandma Poo and Grandpa Mike!!! :) It helped knowing that he and Kambria were in good hands and happy!
When we first started we were so excited and it was absolutely beautiful!!! The weather was beautiful and the scenery was amazing! There were 4 rest stops along the way each day; one of them being a lunch stop. They made sure they had plenty of water and other hydrating drinks and snacks along the way to help the riders with energy and hydration. We felt like we arrived at our first rest stop pretty quickly which had been 13.4 miles, this was very encouraging! Only we really had no idea what was lying ahead of us!

We continued to our next rest stop, which was also our lunch stop, about 17 miles. After a few miles Jon and I got ahead of George and Rhiannon by a pretty good distance so we decided to stop and wait a couple times. They hadn't caught up so we walked our bikes for about a quarter of a mile when they did finally catch up to us. One thing I didn't mention is that Rhiannon is almost 4 months pregnant and got the okay by her doctor to participate in this. Because of that though she had to go a little slower so she wouldn't over do it.

After having them catch up to us, we did end up getting ahead again, but met back up at the lunch stop. By that time we were about 30 miles into the ride and starting to feel the burn! At lunch Rhiannon had mentioned that she was feeling a little cramping but wanted to continue to see how it goes. I was a little worried, but I know that responsible pregnant women know their bodies and won't risk the health of their child. I knew that she would quit if she felt like it was necessary.
So off we all went! Jon and I were ahead of them again when we finally arrived at the next rest stop 15.2 miles from lunch, which I didn't know would come or not, I was really getting tired and a little dehydrated by then! I had been drinking a ton on the ride, but the sun was beating down on us and sucking it all back out! I got plenty of liquids and a banana to revive myself. We were there for about 5 or 10 minutes when the sag wagon came pulling up with George and Rhiannon's bikes. They had decided to stop about 10 miles from the lunch stop because her cramping was becoming consistent. We were told by the volunteers that they were doing well, so after resting for a few minutes longer we continued on. The next stop was Harrison which was another 10.5 miles, but seemed like 100!!!! I was struggling by then but didn't want to give up! Jon has amazing endurance, so had no problems at all! He did such a great job encouraging me and getting me to keep going!

At the Harrison stop, the last one before the finish, the volunteers asked us if we wanted to keep going or stop for the day. I knew that Jon wanted to keep going for sure, he is not a quitter! I wanted to finish, but didn't know if I had it in me to do it. I told them that we were going to try; at least get to the last 6 miles before it starts going up hill from that point. Also, when we arrived there they told us that George and Rhiannon had gone to the Emergency room to get checked out but that everything went well and her and the baby were still doing good! The cramping that she had been feeling was from being dehydrated. They monitored her and the baby for a bit and had her drink a lot of water, then she was released. They were back at the hotel getting checked in. That was a sigh of relief!
Although dreading it, I followed Jon as we heading out again. The last stretch was 15.3 miles with the last 6 being a continuous incline. A short time after leaving we got a phone call from Rhiannon letting us know how she was doing and that it was doctor's orders that she couldn't continue the Ride the next day. George told her that he was going to stay back with her, but knowing how much I was struggling and doubting that I could bare another day of it, I mentioned to Jon that I would rather stay back with her and have George continue on with him the next day. He thought that would be a good idea, now I was just hoping that George would be okay with it too. Back to the ride..... A lot of things were kind of a blur at this point. All I could think of was at least getting to the bridge that crosses over the lake right before the last 6 mile stretch. Although it was so beautiful and I managed to get a few pics, I wasn't enjoying the scenery as much because all I could think about was "just keep moving"; in fact I kept saying that out loud!

We finally got to the bridge, which was beautiful btw, but at the beginning it had a pretty steep incline. I couldn't make it up all the way before my legs gave out on me. I was so exhausted!!! I got off my bike and walked up the rest of the bridge to the top. Luckily, since it had such an incline, it also had a good decline on the other side! I got back on my back and was able to cruise down for a short distance and even peddle a little with some ease.

At the bottom of the bridge, we thought we saw some flashing lights which would have been the sag wagon, I was seriously contemplating getting on it at that point and letting Jon continue to the finish. But by the time we got to the point where we had seen it, it was gone. We thought maybe they had to take a different route or something and we would meet up with it somewhere ahead. Come to find out later, after the Harrison stop it became tribal territory so they switched Rangers from the one that had been following behind the whole time before. The new one didn't take any of the communication devices from the MS ride so they weren't able to contact him. We think he just went a different route and when he didn't see us for a few minutes on the actual route he just assumed we had already passed. Wrong!!! Anyway....
So we just kept riding on...and on......and on....
I don't remember exactly how far into the last stretch it was but I had a little bit of a break down! I kept trying to get my legs to keep peddling, but they just wanted to give out! Jon was trying so hard to encourage me and keep me going, but I was sooooo exhausted! I started crying, hyperventilating a little, and sobbing. Jon stopped and came back to me. He just held me for a minute and said that we would walk for a bit. He was so awesome and understanding. I wish I could have even a little bit of his endurance! He is amazing! We had a really good talk and then stopped for a minute at one of the trails outhouses.

I decided to get back on the bike and try riding again. I think by this point we were at mile marker 5, which meant that was how many miles we had left to the finish (or so we thought). I kept going, tying to follow as close behind Jon as possible while he would yell back words of encouragement. As each mile marker came it seemed more and more excruciating and long! Finally we got to mile marker 1. Even though I didn't know if I had it in me to keep going I pushed through and just kept thinking in my head...ONE MORE MILE! I kept looking in front of me and wondering when I would see the finish line. Finally we got into Plummer, around a little bend, and there was a little hill with an MS sign at the top! Since the sag wagon left us and I knew we were way late getting in I didn't think there would be a bunch of people at the finish so I still thought that at the top of the hill was it! Although, when we finally got there and read the sign it said MS riders 1 more mile! It was made to be an encouraging thing, but at that point I lost it! I stopped as I started sobbing! I thought I was so close and now to have to go another mile, especially when they seem like 10 miles at this point, was horrible! Jon stopped too and gave me the comfort that I needed and said that he was so proud of me and that I was doing so good. I love him so much! We decided to walk for a bit even though we were so close, I needed to gather myself and start breathing normal again. My legs were JELLO! We thought we saw what looked like a hotel shuttle up ahead so we decided to hop back on the bikes and ride to the end. As we approached we saw that it was actually someone's motorhome.....sigh....so we continued. We kept going as we saw signs that were pointing us in the direction we needed to go through the town of Plummer. And FINALLY, we saw the end! It wasn't much, just a sign on the side of the school. No one was there, but there was a door open. So I walked inside, with my jello legs, and called for someone. There were two maintenance guys there who were in charge of watching the bikes, who were super nice btw and got us a couple bottled waters right away, but no one there from Bike MS. We were supposed to be done by 5 and those who weren't were supposed to be picked up by the sag wagon. But since the sag wagon had left us we were kind of on our own. We didn't get to Plummer until just after 6 since we had to walk at times and I was riding really slow toward the end(even though I was going as fast as my body would let me). I am kind of glad that the sag wagon wasn't there though, because even though it was one of the hardest things I have ever done, I am so glad that I got to finish that 75 miles!

We called George and Rhiannon and they let Stacey (one of the coordinators) know that we were there waiting. So within about 15 minutes we had a shuttle pull up and we were finally on our way to the hotel! Thank Goodness!!!!! When we first took off I started feeling a little nauseous. I was just hoping and praying that I wouldn't puke! After a few minutes it went away and then I just started feeling hungry. Phew!!!
We finally arrived at the hotel around 6:45 and went into the conference room where they were serving dinner and about to start talking about the ride. When we walked in George came walking toward us from the other side of the room. As soon as I saw him and then saw Rhiannon I teared up! Rhiannon and I hugged and cried a bit....yes..we are a bit sappy! :) LOL! But I was so emotional from the ride, plus worrying about Rhiannon, plus just being exhausted!
Most people had already eaten, but at least the food was still there and warm....and so yummy!!! We were there for about an hour eating and listening to the coordinators and the speakers. It was just so nice to be sitting down in a chair.....not a bike seat!!! My Butt was one of many things that was hurting pretty badly at that point! LOL! When we got into our hotel room I went right for the bed and layed down for a few minutes. I could have just fallen asleep right away but we wanted to go to the hot tub and pool. So wonderful!!!! Much needed bliss after the ride!!! After that we showered and walked over to the deli in the Casino and got ice cream, another well deserved treat!!! I forgot to mention that we were staying at the Coeur d'Alene Casino Resort. Through being apart of the ride we got a huge discount on the room and all the meals were provided! We finally got to be around 11, I was asleep once I hit the pillow! Poor Rhiannon and Jon didn't sleep well. Jon's ear was hurting from jumping into the pool wrong and he was having a little bit of restless leg syndrome. I totally slept through him tossing and turning! Rhiannon got even less sleep. :( She woke up around 12:30 with an upset stomach and was trying not to puke most of the night. She didn't puke but was really tired when we all woke up in the morning. She didn't feel like eating, so we just let her sleep and Jon, George, and I headed down to the buffet for breakfast. Soooooo yummmmy!!!!! When we got back to the room she was feeling a little better! Yeah! We then got everything packed up and headed down to the lobby to wait for the shuttle to take Jon and George to Plummer to start the ride for the day.

Since Rhiannon and I weren't riding we were catching a ride with Kate, another coordinator, back to Mullan to get the car, but weren't leaving for about an hour. We were going to walk to the deli to get Rhiannon something to eat, but on our way we passed by the buffet and there were still some MS volunteers there so we were able to still get in! We sat in the buffet for the rest of the time and then off we went again to start another day, another journey. (Nothing like the day before though!)

After getting the car in Mullan we drove over to the lunch rest stop to wait for our guys to arrive. This time the lunch stop was 50 miles into their ride. We were waiting there for a couple hours before they finally arrived. Jon looked a little tired but said he was doing fine, George on the other hand looked like he was about to fall over dead! Poor guy! I totally knew what he was going through!

After they left we decided it would be fun to drive to Wallace and walk around for a bit before driving back to Mullan to watch them finish. I had been a little directionally challenged that weekend, so surprise surprise, I put us in the wrong direction on I-90. Rhiannon kept saying that she thought it was the other way, but listened to me anyway, I was pretty sure it was west of where we were not east. Oh I was wrong! We got all the way to Coeur d'Alene and turned around! LOL!!! At least it was a nice drive!! ha ha!!

We did finally make it to Wallace and had about 45 minutes to walk around. They have some cool stored there, especially antique stores. We both got a little souvenir for the kiddos, except Eli, because he is still a little young to care. Rhiannon bought a huckleberry chocolate candy for both of the guys, but those were later squished by Georges elbow in the car! LOL!

While in Wallace I called Jon to find out how close they are to there or if they already passed through. They were just about to the underpass of the freeway there on the trail. So we walked quickly over there to cheer them on as they rode by.

Just ahead of where we were standing they stopped and Jon yelled over saying George wanted to be picked up. We almost went and got the car to meet them over there but instead had Rhiannon call George to talk to him. After words of encouragement and love he decided to fight it out and continue. They only had 6 more miles left!!! We couldn't let him quite when he was so close! Both of us got a little emotional. I knew exactly what he was going through and it broke my heart, but I knew that he would regret not finishing, especially being so close!
We walked back to the main part of town, took a picture with a friendly(maybe not so friendly, lol) statue and then walked through one more shop.

We then got in the car and headed to Mullan to meet them at the finish line. This time there were MS volunteers there cheering people on and giving them medals as they arrived. They were so awesome and gave us one too for what we had achieved! We didn't even ask, they just thought that we deserved one too! :)
We were there for almost an hour when we finally saw them coming down the trail! They made it! We were so proud of them! I was so proud of Jon for finishing both days and of George for sticking it out and finishing that day! After they got to the finish line and had their medals put around their necks they hugged each other. George said that Jon was his Holy Ghost, pushing him along and that he wouldn't have wanted to do it with anyone else! They are such great friends! Rhiannon and I got our hugs in too....and tears. :)

The whole thing was such an amazing experience and we wouldn't have wanted to do it with anyone else! George and Rhiannon are two of the best friends that anyone could have, they are considered family! We love you guys! The encouragement and love that we show and have for one-another is priceless! My love for my husband grew even more as well. I loved him so much before, but after him sticking by me, encouraging and comforting me along the way through this hard journey, it just shows me even more that I have an amazing husband. And he did the same thing for George! I know I am so lucky and I am so grateful!

We are planning on doing it again next year. Only this time we will be training for it through out the year! :) If anyone would like to join us next year, we would love to have you! It is hard, but so worth it! hmmm......just like one of my favorite quotes about life that would be something that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ would say: "I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it"
This was not only an amazing journey but it was also a testimony builder!

We have until October 1st to turn in our donations, so if anyone would like to donate we would greatly appreciate it! :)