Present is a hit

Sunday, December 26, 2010

So Grandma and Grandpa got each grandchild a flashlight that hangs around ones head for reading in bed. Mr. M insisted on his tonight when he went to be. This is how we found him 15 minutes later. Out soundly. Too cute. I guess this present is a winner. After I took the picture and put his books away, I tried to take the light away and and to pry it our of the one hand that is holding it. I thought for sure he was going to wake up and chew me out, but the day was ful of Christmas cheer and he was just too exhausted to wake completely up.


Christmas Eve Surprise

Saturday, December 25, 2010

After cleaning the bathroom Christmas Eve morning. I was working in my room, when I heard this loud crash in my bathroom. No one was in there and I was not sure what happened. Nothing could have prepared me to see my shower door shattered. How did this happen? I thought to myself. The towel was not heavy and I found it intriguing how the glass broke. It shattered straight down. If the door had fallen out, glass would have gone even further, like falling onto my counter. Instead it all just dropped straight down. The top and bottom rails were still were they belonged. So how did this just happen?

After checking on replacement cost, I did an internet search since this was a big mystery to me. I found out that tempered glass has a weakness to it. It is safer than regular glass, but it can just explode for no apparent  reason. If it got even an invisible crack it, that could be enough to cause it to shatter. None the less, no one was in the bathroom when it happened and we got it all cleaned up. It took a few rounds to make sure there was not glass bits left. Goodwill took our good door, as we were wanting it out right away and we are now sporting a shower rod and curtain. Not the same, but it works for our budget. I am also not keen on spending another $300 on glass that might just explode again and next time maybe with some one in there next time, so I think I will stick to our new method for a while.

PS One of the articles says it is a rare occurrence that happens and you are more likely to to get hurt from falling off your toilet than have a serious injury with your shower doors braking. So, with such luck, I might have to Velcro everyone to the toilet just to avoid future injuries. Just kidding on the Velcro, but I am trying to figure our how one falls off, but that is for another day.


Family newsletter

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

1.         High school--That's right we are finally old enough to have a kid in high school.  I keep rechecking the math and am sure  she should be in 3rd grade not 9th, but everyone else disagrees.    Miss A has adjusted well to 6 am seminary (unlike her mother).  She has also maintained  her 4.0 GPA (so far)that she has had since middle school.    She has found ways to be on the good side of all her teacher too, which is of course never hurts. 
2.        Glasses- Little A and Mr. M are now sporting a cool pair of glasses.  Little A loves the new world she can see and wears them happily.  Mr. M. was borderline  on needing them  and  has yet to hold the  same appreciation as his sister.
3.        Botox- Yep,  we love Botox.  The FDA approved the use of it this year for treatment of those who have more than 15 days of headaches a month, which Shaun met that requirement twice.  It does not make him pain free, but  it makes  the severity  so much better.  No, he does not have any appearance differences either, if you were wondering.  He has been told he is a good  candidate it have a nerve stimulator implant (like a pace maker for  nerves) in the future when the Botox no longer works.   
4.        Cards- When  not running everyone around Denise tries to make cards.  She started it about a year ago and decide to make a blog to remember what she made, so she could repeat favorites.    She enjoys entering card challenges,  which means she is always making something new.
5.        Math & Spelling Whiz-  What can we say.  Each of our kids are so bright.  (We know it is a comment all parents say, and we hope they  all mean it.)  Each of our children seem  to find the area they can really excel at.  Little A has chosen math and spelling.  She pretty much  loves  practicing both.  We will be driving down the road and she will ask for a math problem.  I am impressed that a 2nd grader can add double and triple digits in her head. 
6.        Running - In May the stake women's church group announced they would be holding a triathlon in September.  Denise jumped in with both feet and started the whole family running (no one else would swim or bike). Miss A decided along with starting high school she would also try her hand at sports, she choose cross country running. She started running in late June and by the end of the summer the whole family joined in. A local running club held weekly races in August which the whole family was able to participate in. Miss A's cross country adventure hit some rough spots when she hurt both ankles but she pushed through to the end of the season (we are so proud of her for not giving up).  In September Denise entered her first Triathlon, she performed awesomely and had a fantastic finish (way to go Denise). In November, Shaun ran in his own race called "the first Annual running of the Turkey's" where he took first place and last place (you do the math) were hoping for a larger turn out next year.
7.         Painting - After 5 years we decided the house needed a little touchup in the paint department. With a little effort every room in the house (well almost) received a fresh coat of paint, with Denise doing the lion share of the painting. Along the way we decided the half bath and the laundry room could use a little work so with their fresh paint they got new flooring (wow what a difference it makes).
8.        Preschool - Mr. M last year was so disappointed everyone got to go to school except for him (I don't think we could have survived another year). Now he is 4 and loves going to preschool which Denise teaches on a rotating basis along with 5 other mom's. He loves every minute of it.
9.         Family campout - Last year we discovered a wonderful invention located at many of the state parks, "yurts". We tried one out last year and thought it was great, so this year we reserved a few for three nights and had a Gatherum family campout. The whole family ventured out of their comfort zone and traveled further south to the Coos Bay area, where there are some great state parks.  We loved the trip and have decided yurts are a great way to go camping.
10.        Well we wanted to think of 10 interesting things about us this last year, but really  we aren't that exciting, so  ten is that we love and appreciate all of you.  We hope your Christmas is filled with the love of Christ  and one another.   We miss you  and hope the new year is filled with much joy. 
Shaun, Denise and the kids


Christmas Orange

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I got to read a story in Little A's class at school. I modified this story and then gave this little treat to the kids last Thursday.

The Christmas Orange
Sometimes it is easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas. The busy traditions of the season and the appealing advertisements for material goods can leave the pure and simple truths far, far behind.

Jake was nine years old with tousled brown hair with blue eyes as bright as a heavenly angel. For as long as Jake could remember he had lived within the walls of a poor orphanage. He was just one of ten children supported by what meager contributions the orphan home could obtain in a continuous struggle seeking donations from townsfolk.

There was very little to eat, but at Christmas time there always seemed to be a little more than usual to eat, the orphanage seemed a little warmer, and it was time for a little holiday enjoyment. But more than this, there was the Christmas orange!
Christmas was the only time of year that such a rare treat was provided and it was treasured by each child like no other food admiring it, feeling it, prizing it and slowly enjoying each juicy section. Truly, it was the light of each orphan's Christmas and their best gift of the season. How joyful would be the moment when Jake received his orange!

Unknown to him, Jake had somehow managed to track a small amount of mud on his shoes through the front door of the orphanage, muddying the new carpet. He hadn't even noticed. Now it was too late and there was nothing he could do to avoid punishment. The punishment was swift and unrelenting. Jake would not be allowed his Christmas orange! It was the only gift he would receive from the harsh world he lived in, yet after a year of waiting for his Christmas orange, is was to be denied him.

Tearfully, Jake pleaded that he be forgiven and promised never to track mud into the orphanage again, but to no avail. He felt hopeless and totally rejected. Jake cried into his pillow all that night and spent Christmas Day feeling empty and alone. He felt that the other children didn't want to be with a boy who had been punished with such a cruel punishment. Perhaps they feared he would ruin their only day of happiness. Maybe, he reasoned, the gulf between him and his friends existed because they feared he would ask for a little of their oranges. Jake spent the day upstairs, alone, in the unheated dormitory. Huddled under his only blanket, he read about a family marooned on an island. Jake wouldn't mind spending the rest of his life on an isolated island, if he could only have a real family that cared about him.
Bedtime came, and worst of all, Jake couldn't sleep. How could he say his prayers? How could there be a God in Heaven that would allow a little soul such as his, to suffer so much all by himself? Silently, he sobbed for the future of mankind that God might end the suffering in the world, both for himself and all others like him.

As he climbed back into bed from the cold, hard floor, a soft hand touched Jake's shoulder, startling him momentarily and an object was silently placed in his hands. The giver disappeared into the darkness, leaving Jake with what, he did not immediately know!
Looking closely at it in the dim light, he saw that it looked like an orange! Not a regular orange, smooth and shiny, but a special orange, very special. Inside a patched together peal were the segments of nine other oranges, making one whole orange for Jake! The nine other children in the orphanage had each donated one segment of their own precious oranges to make a whole orange as a gift for Jake.

Sharing what we truly value is the true spirit of Christmas. Our Heavenly Father gave us His beloved Son. May we, like the children in the orphanage, find ways to share His love with others less blessed.


Iphone music

Monday, December 20, 2010

This is amazing what technology can do.  There are three songs in this video, each one uses the iphone or ipad  to play a different instrument.  All I can say is wow, and no we are not getting an ipad either.  If you can not see the whole video on the screen click over to youtube for it at


Christmas without the mas.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Blogging Etiquette

Friday, December 3, 2010

Our Blog used to come up as Shaun & Denise, at least until Denise started her craft blog and changed it to come up as Denise and since she has primarily  been the one blogging here it's not that big of deal. Well that is until... I decided to leave Denise a Comment on her crafting blog. She thought it was a little weird to have a comment appear to be from your self. I don't think it is, especially since I left my trade mark -SG after it so people know (or at least they should in my opinion) obviously one solution would be for me to get my own account but that not going to happen. So what is the proper etiquette here? What do you think ? -SG


Day One Christmas Story- The Rifle

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Each night we read a story, we will share on our blog not all, but some of our favorite.  Here is the first one we read tonight.

"The Rifle"

Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors.

It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving. It was Christmas Eve 1881.

I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn't been enough money to buy me the rifle that I'd wanted so bad that year for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.

So after supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn't get the Bible, instead he bundled up and went outside. I couldn't figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn't worry about it long though; I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.

Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. "Come on, Matt," he said. "Bundle up good, it's cold out tonight." I was really upset then. Not only wasn't I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. We'd already done all the chores, and I couldn't think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this. But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one's feet when he'd told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens.

Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn't know what. Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn't going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up the big sled unless we were going to haul a big load. Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn't happy.

When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. "I think we'll put on the high sideboards," he said. "Here, help me." The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high sideboards on. When we had exchanged the sideboards Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood--the wood I'd spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing?

Finally I said something. "Pa," I asked, "what are you doing?"

"You been by the Widow Jensen's lately?" he asked.  The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight.

Sure, I'd been by, but so what? "Yeah," I said, "why?" "I rode by just today," Pa said. "Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They're out of wood, Matt."

That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait.
When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand.

"What's in the little sack?" I asked. "Shoes. They're out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn't be Christmas without a little candy." We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen's pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn't have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn't have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us. It shouldn't have been our concern.
We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible,
then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, "Who is it?"

"Lucas Miles, Ma'am, and my son, Matt. Could we come in for a bit?" Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp. "We brought you a few things, Ma'am," Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time.
There was a pair for her and one for each of the children---sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn't come out.

"We brought a load of wood too, Ma'am," Pa said, then he turned to me and said, "Matt, go bring enough in to last for awhile. Let's get that fire up to size and heat this place up." I wasn't the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and, much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks and so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn't speak.

My heart swelled within me and a joy filled my soul that I'd never known before. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people. I soon had the fire blazing and everyone's spirits soared.
The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn't crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. "God bless you," she said. "I know the Lord himself has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us." In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again.  
I'd never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth.
I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it. Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes. Tears were running down Widow Jensen's face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and didn't want us to go.
I could see that they missed their pa, and I was glad that I still had mine. At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, "The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow." The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We'll be by to get you about eleven. It'll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn't been little for quite a spell. I was the youngest. My two older brothers and two older sisters were all married and had moved away.
Widow Jensen nodded and said, "Thank you, Brother Miles. I don't have to say, "'May the Lord bless you,' I know for certain that He will." Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn't even notice the cold.  
When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, "Matt, I want you to know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn't have quite enough. Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that. But on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do. So, Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand." I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Just then the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more.

He had given me the look on Widow Jensen's face and the radiant smiles of her three children. For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood,

I remembered,

and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life.

By: Rian B. Anderson


Running of the Turkey's

Sunday, November 28, 2010

As I have started running again after a 15 year break, I have set a goal of racing as often as I can. However, during the winter, races become few and far between. Needless to say I have been looking forward to Thanksgiving as there are many communities that have Thanksgiving day races. I had my choice between Albany and Corvallis, until I became aware of the first annual "Running of the Turkey's" here in Monmouth.

All I can say is this race was awesome, and I had a terrific performance, taking first in my age division with a 5k (3.1 miles) time of 22:24, dropping nearly a minute off of my previous 5k time and setting a course record. Even though I had a personal best I was a little disappointed that the competition was a little light, I hope next year the turn out will be better.Let me know if anyone is interested. -SG

PS - I also took last place, so you do the math.


A letter to the president

Monday, November 22, 2010

At school Little A had to write a pretend letter to the President of the United States nominating someone of her choice for something. I love what she chose and think it is so cute. Many people ask what my husband does. We now all know thanks to Little A.

Here is the text for those who can not read her writing.

November 17, 2010

Dear Mr. President,

I would like to nominate my dad, Shaun Gatherum, a year off of work. What he does is he puts people's money into computers. He works for you, so I think you know him. He works hard, I think he needs one don't you?


A-- Gatherum


Boneless skinless chicken breast $1.48 / lb in Oregon, Washington, & Idaho

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

This message is for those interested in stocking up on boneless skinless chicken breast.

I have never used this company before,  but have seen a great buzz online from  a couple of my fugal blogs about it.  I am planning to order some.  This is a company that delivers fresh chicken every four months to sites in Oregon, Idaho, and Washington. 

So on Nov 8th is the Salem drop off day for the chicken. The cost is $1.48 a pound for fresh (never been frozen)  boneless chicken breast.   They come in 40 lb boxes. The chicken in each box is in four 10 lb bags. Each box is about 54 ck breast.    Each box cost $59.20. People have to freeze desired amounts in freezer bags.   Hope this helps. 

Here is the web site for those who want to buy or look into it further:

I will also include a link to a site that has more info:

I have two other blogs links if there is anyone interested, just let me know.


Free candy at Rite Aid

Thursday, October 7, 2010

This picture came from
*Update--- this deal now is posting online as no longer valid.  But I am glad I got it when I did.
I saw a post on one of my favorite blogs for how to score free candy from  Rite Aid.  I ran there tonight to pick up some Halloween candy and see if it worked.  Well, it mainly worked.  My total came out right, but  I was shorted $4 in printed coupons at the end of the transaction.  I got $26 in coupons instead of $30.  I was fine with that since I only paid $25 for the candy, before  I used my gift card from last months savings.  I looked later at what coupons printed and two bags of Halloween tootsie rolls that were the same price were not in the deal.  They were the same price so I was hoping they were included.   Anyway still a great deal.

Check the post here on what to buy that works. Also note that this is the candy found in the regular candy isle, not the Halloween candy. 

I don't know how long this deal will last.  I would guess that it ends on Saturday. Any how I did not want to take a chance  of it not being there tomorrow, so that is why I went tonight.


If you wake me up again...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Today in preschool, Mr. M learned about frogs.  So tonight he took a bath and was sent to dress himself in PJs.  When later checked upon about 15 minutes later to see if he was dressed, he was already in bed asleep. So dad peeked to make sure he was dressed, well you guessed it he wasn't.  In the process of peeking he was awaken, which resulted in a grumpy boy for being disturbed.  He told his dad, "If you wake me up again, I'm going to rough you up!"

"What does rough you up mean?"
" It means I'm going to do karate on you."
Dad and him had a talk about not talking that way and we don't do those things either. Not sure where he learned that.  He has an amazing vocabulary that shocks me often. 

He then added, "When I am tired I make bad choice. " (all too true for all of us)

Then dad dressed him, which did not make him happy.  As he left we hear Mr. M yell, "Abracadabra, diggery do, I'm turning you into a frog.  And you don't know the secret password either."

Minutes later he was back asleep, but this is a reminder of our daily laughs and sometimes battle we get with him.  It's just so hard not to laugh when he is trying to be in charge.  We hear that Abracadabra thing often. I guess that is better than what he always said last year when he got angry, which was," You're going to Jail".

Comments like that make me really want to ask,"Where did this kid come from?"  The going to jail comment originated about an discussion that  I could go to jail if he did not sit in his car seat and that turned into everyone going to jail for anything if you don't listen to Mr. M.  Love this boy, love him lots, but I think he is going to be one to keep me on my toes daily. 

PS.  Miss A just woke him up again as she went off to bed.  He just let her know he is not happy.

PSS Here is how we just found him and luckily he didn't get woken too much as we moved him to a safer portion of his bed.


October's Month of Dinner

2010 Dinner Menu

Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat.
Greek to me CK HFM #60


spinach HFM #187



Beef Sands.
F& F



#7 or HFM

*Mash. potato
Gr beans
Salmon w/ apricot


*Carrots & rice
Church activity




Eat @ Shaun's
fuss potato

soup F&F #62
*Salad & bread

Rice & cuc.

& salsa

& salad
Ck &

cream sauce

*Rice &

*Corn & cuc.
Ck. Corn




Race day

Enchiladas (From Freezer)
*Lett. & tom.

*CK & veggie

Ck. Enchiladas

(From Freezer)

Gr. beans

F&F #134


Noodles tuna

*Dinner in a pumpkin

apple Sauce


Shaun likes it best when the meals are planned and all ingredients are in the house for the month. We only buy perishables as needed, but it is a consistent list each week. We have found that the bottom line is we save money that way. I thought I would share this month. Can't say I will post again, but here is how it works.

We don't eat according to the date, In fact, since we have pretty much all ingredients on hand we pick and chose according to the day what will best suit our family. We try to mark church and family events so we plan for those too. Tonight we are having tacos which is on day 23. We have already eaten days 1, 3,4, and 16. We just mark it with an X, so we know what is left for the month.

Also, I store copies in a note book with dividers 1-31. Day 1 corresponds with divider # 1, and so forth. No more hunting for recipes, all together and ready to go.

Let me know what you think.


Molalla Race 9/18

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

With two hurt ankles, this girl still wants to run. Silly girl.
Lots of teams wearing red. I think there is 20 girls from one school on the jv team. Pretty hard not to win for them.

 Look at her go.  She passed this girl at the very end. Even with the other girls team yelling, "Don't let her pass!"

If you are tired of X-country photos, just be glad we didn't get any from the first race of the session and I am not sure if we have any from last weeks race.  I am pretty behind getting these posted. In fact I think I am about a year behind on posting things. 


Entertainment book

Monday, September 27, 2010

Okay, this is only out there to those who would normally an entertainment book or would like to get one for the first time. Miss A is selling them for Choir. If you want one they are $25 and she is selling them this week and part of next week. She also has a Little Caesars pizza kit for the freezer catalog. Let Miss A or me know if you are interested with either. She is trying to sell 5 entertainment books.


The influences of TV

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Last night after the TRI  (more on that later),  I crawled in bed and 8 pm, and said I hurt.   Mr. M. looks at me and said you need a sleep number bed.  I asked why.  He said, "A sleep number bed will get rid of your pain."  Oh, how funny he is.  I just had to laugh. He was too cute.


Miss A takes on Trask Mountain Race 2 on 9/11/2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Those of you who are familiar with X-country, there are some races that are extreme races.  This one was.  Through water, mud, and steep drop offs.  This is said to be her most difficult race of the season.  They get so messy that the coach doesn't have them in uniform.  Most often they pick up old clothes from Goodwill and wear odd things.  This year  we saw people run in the weirdest costumes.  Fairy wings and tutus, prom dresses, warrior and armor wear and so on.  The Miss A's Girls team wear ties and all but Miss A wore cut off dress shirts with the words "We mean business" written on the back.   So that is why she is running with a tie.
Here is the first water crossing just after their first hill about  5 or so minutes into the race.  They cross twice and then up a hill again.  This race looks brutal, but it gets worse from here.

Here she is as she is heading toward the "mud pits".  She already looks tired, yet there is much work ahead. Apparently, if it is not rained enough, they will water the hills going to and from the river to muddy them up.  By the time they hit the river, it is so muddy that you can't even tell it is a river.  It is just muddy. 

Some came out mud head to toe.   Luckily we have a conservative child and she is rather clean.  Though this is the messiest I have seen any of my children to day.  At least until next year when she runs Trask again.

Come back later for some video footage.  I haven't seen it yet and the race was a week and a half ago.


Open race

Monday, September 20, 2010

Look how happy looks before this race. He just loves to run.  He has been running our neighborhood.  3 miles in 21 minutes.  I wished I was that fast.  This was the first time they held an open race here.  The turn out was small.

Here is the final stretch.  He was hoping to do the race in the 11ish time frame, but  today just wasn't his day, but at least he finished the race and I will post tonight or tomorrow  his daughter's time from her JV race that was a  few minutes later after the open race.  They both still raced faster than I can do it, so hurray for them.


Some one went to their first stake dance

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Miss A had a great time going to her first stake dance with a group and girls from school. I think they all had a good time. It is hanging with this group that made the night great. Her response after the dance was, "It was better than I thought it would be." She was not looking forward to it in the beginning, but knew others enjoyed going, so she gave it a try.
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What do you mean read under the Big "E"?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

On the first week of school, Little A. said sometimes things look blurry, as the reason she was holding her book so close to her face.  I had noticed for some time that she miss reads little words like as, an, and, the,  they, then.  Yet her reading level has been increasing at the same pace as the rest of her class, despite those some times errors.  When I point out to slow down and read ____ word correctly, she can always get it right, so I did not connect it to vision, but instead to just not paying close attention. 

Any way we had an eye doctor appointment yesterday. They first tested her right side.  It was no where close to 20/20.  However,  nothing could have prepared me for the shock when they tried to get her to read the letters at the same level on her left eye.  They would say, "What letters can you read?"
Her reply, " Nothing." This repeated several times.
They would ask,  "Are you sure you can't read anything on this line?" 
She would reply, " Nothing." 
Finally, they moved it up to the second line from the top, "Can you read anything here?"
" I think that one of them is an "O" ", she said as I clearly saw it was a "D".
"Can  you see the other letter?"
"Alright how about this top letter", as they point to the Big letter E at the top.  

Not the same chart, but similar.

After two techs, a computer, and the doctor who also had a third tech help him all gave her full exams, we were told she is 20/60 in the right eye and 20/400 in the left eye.   The doctor order glasses that will increase her vision in each eye one level, so with glasses she would be at best 20/50 in her right eye and the left eye would be able to only read the second row on the reading chart.    Meanwhile we will get to do eye patches  2-3 hours a day on the better eye to hopefully help the left eye not be so weak.    The doctors said that this is more correctable in younger children and that they used to not treat it after age 6, but have found some kids still respond after age 6, we will need to give it a try for a while.    Meanwhile, we will be regulars at the eye doctor every six weeks or so while she is wearing the patch and they are monitoring whether there is improvement or not. 

 Lastly, he also told me she has astigmatism in  both eyes, in  addition to being very farsighted.  I think my eyes began to glaze over from shock after this point.  So I will have many questions for our next visit in 6 weeks, which will be another full eye exam. 

All I can say is Little A is a trooper.  No complaint, just doing the best she could with a pair of eyes that each have  minds of their own.  I am  rather surprised that we and those around us did not notice sooner.  I am grateful she has done well in school regardless.  She is truly a strong little girl. 


Why I like Rite Aid

Friday, August 27, 2010

Here is my month shopping at  Rite Aid.  I have found some months I don't find anything I need or want and then other times they are very good to me.  Below are my transactions for those who want details, but bottom line is I saved by using coupons 73.50, plus I tried to only buy sale items.  My total out of pocket for one month is $23. 37 after coupons and am now waiting for  $23.69 in rebates and $10 in a gift card. Prior to learning how to shop there, I used to think they were way over priced.  It just comes down to learning their system.

Rite Aid is the fastest company on rebates and they make it easy online.  Checks are here in two weeks, but you can only submit one a month, so I save them all until the end of the rebate month.    The gift cards are slower, but they end up coming in about 4-6 weeks.  Additionally, has coupons online here  for $5 off $25.  They usually let you earn up to three coupons by watching 30- 60 sec ad  videos. 

Want to learn more on how to shop at Rite Aid, see this video and blog post  from hiptosave 

Week one

  • Gillette Fussion Razor  9.99 w/ $4.00 Mfr cpn and $5 scr (single check rebate by Riteaid)= .99
  • Women's gillette razors  7.99  $ 4 up and $2 mfr cpn = $1.99
  • LA Looks gel  2 mfr cpn for  $1 off each and $1 scr = .50 each
  • Aussie Hair spray 2.50  $2.50 off 2 mfr cpn & $1 up reward = .75 each
  • Aussie detangler 2.50 (see above)
  • Total before coupons =26.96 
  • used $10.50 in mfr cpn
  • used Rite aid coupon save $5 when you spend $25
  • used  $8 in previously eared up rewards 
 Spent at register:  $3.46  up rewards printed to use in next transaction : $1 & $4
total rebates to submit: $6

Week Two
  •  Crest toothpaste  $2.69 w/ .75 mfr cpn & scr $2.69 = FREE+ .75 overage
  • Total before coupons =$2.69
  • used $0.75 in mfr cpn
  • used  $1 in previously eared up rewards
Spent at register:  $0.94
total rebates to submit: $2.69

Week three
  • Pantene Shampoo & conditioner  2/$10  w/ 2 mfr cpns $1 each & $3 up = $2.50 each
  • Seabreeze $4.99  w/ $1 mfr cpn & $1 up & $3 scr = FREE
  • Crest toothpaste  $2.99 w/ .75 mfr cpn & scr $2 = .24
  • Clearasil cream 6.29 w/ $3 Rite aid cpn & $1.50 up =$ 1.79
  • Noxzema cleansing cream Buy one get on free, no cpns- $5.49
  • Total before coupons =26.76 
  • used $16.75 in mfr cpn
  • used Rite aid coupon save $5 when you spend $25
  • used Rite aid coupon save $1 off $10 of skin care products
  • used  $4 in previously eared up rewards
 Spent at register:  $10.01
up rewards printed to use in next transaction : $1, $1.50 & $4
total rebates to submit: $5

Week four
  •  Rain check from week 2 for mouthwash of 4 Crest pro health mouthwashes for $20 w/ 4 mfr cpn $2 each &  $10 scr when you buy 4 + $10 rite aid gift card when you spend $25 in oral care products this month =  FREE + $8 overage
  • Planters peanuts $2.99 w/ $1 up = $1.99
  • 6 boxes of Kleenex BOGO $2.49 w/ $2  in mrf & RA cpn = .91 each (not a great price)
  • Total before coupons =30.46
  • used $10 in mfr cpn
  • used Rite aid coupon save $5 when you spend $25
  • used Rite aid coupon save $1 off $10 of oral care products
  • used  $5.50 in previously eared up rewards
 Spent at register:  $8.96
up rewards printed to use in next transaction : $1
total rebates to submit: $10 & $10 RA gift card


Mr M first race running

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Here our little man ran a fine race,  in fact each of our kids ran different races and all did a great job.  We thought we would video it with Miss A. video camera she won from the library's grand prize drawing for the summer reading program.   We even put together a little slide show with a video cut of the beginning and ending of the race.   I am not sure why the sound does not correspond with the video.  I will have to play with that later.  It is right on my PC, but on the blog it is wrong.

Got to keep that ribbon with him at all times.
He will have the choice to run two more races.  If you runs the last one he will get a medal, which he is so excited about.  He got a ribbon just for running and has carried it many places.  He even has gone to sleep with it.


1st race

Saturday, July 17, 2010

This is in many ways a  first race for both of these people. Miss A has started taking up distant running.  It is not coming easy to her, but her desire to keep going and to do it is amazing.  She ran today with 3 blisters. 

Shaun grew up a runner.  He was the fastest distant runner at his high school from his sophomore year on.     Yet he has taken a 14 year break and only in the last few weeks picked it up again.   He has decide that since Miss A is running, he would do it also.  He doesn't have nearly the speed he used to have, but that didn't bother him one bit.  After today he hopes to run more races.
Here they are all taking off.  Can you see him?
You can see just a bit of Miss A going up a pretty good size  hill.  She had just finished one mile of the race and already looked pretty tired.  What a trooper.
Here is the home stretch as he is about to cross the finish line.   The picture snapped late, but his time was 26:07.  He took 93rd out of 311.  Not bad for not running in 14 years.
I had to post this one, as Miss A is about to pass a person who used to live in our town that goes to our church.  Their whole family ran and  Miss A barely passed her, as you see as she goes over the finish line.
Thanks to this lovely man.  I only got a before the line picture, as Miss A is right behind him in the next picture.  Her time was 37:00 flat.

We are proud of both of them.  When I saw the hills they ran.  I was glad to be on the cheering end.  (not that I can run 3 miles constantly yet either.)