MS Muckfest

On Septemer 21st, I participated in the MS Muckfest! It was a 5 mile muddy obstacle course run benefiting the Colorado and Wyoming MS Society Chapter. And I’m happy to say, we met our goal and raised over a $1000!

My dad, my lifelong friend, Shondia, and I participated in the run together. My sister, Ariel, was supposed to run with us, but was under the weather, unfortunately.

This was my very first time doing anything like this. I have never run a 5k, let alone a mud-run! I was quite nervous waiting at the starting line. It felt like all the butterflies in my stomach had leaked out into my muscles, making them all loosey-goosey. I guess that’s better than tensing up!

We started off the race with a bang, getting hosed down, and showered upon. Then we immediately came up to three dirt hills with water in the valleys, that got progressively higher and deeper. The second hill was so steep on the way down, there was nothing to do but sit on your butt and slide down. I was getting baptized with mud, it was now or never!
Then climbing my way out of that one (after I made sure the gal in front of me was securely up) I started running and realized I was carrying about an extra ten pounds! Yippee!
There were about twenty obstacles on the course, including giant bouncy balls suspended from a bar that we had to push our way through, a fireman’s pole, a few nets we had to climb up and over, several mud pits we had to crawl through and at least 2 miles of winding steep deer trails. At one point we had to grab onto a rope because the incline was so steep (and our shoes were particularly slippery.) There was also a climbing wall over a large pit of mud, a spinning rope swing, and a couple of platforms where we had to jump into a 6 foot deep pit of muddy water. I watched Shondia, who is five foot two, go completely under on the first one!

All in all it was really a great time, and we felt especially accomplished when we finished. 🙂 Overall, we finished 189th out of 1,210 people and 69th out of 653 women. Not too bad, I say!

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Got my number and my time chip. Now if I could just get rid of these jitters!

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Shondia, Dad and I before we got dirty.

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The muddy hills. I’m in the pink- right next to the guy in the red shirt and bandana. The girl in front of me kept on slipping down. When it was my turn, I sunk my fingers as far as I could into the dirt to get a good grip. It worked, but I think I still have dirt under my nails.

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After one the obstacles where we had to climb over and under logs that were in a muddy pit of water. Had to make sure the water didn’t go in my mouth on this one! Yuck!

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At the finish! I thought we were actually going to be somewhat “clean” after jumping off a swing into some not so muddy water, but then we had to crawl through some more tunnels, and this mud was particularly well… muddy.

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Even though there were a few times during the race where I was thinking I was crazy to have done something like this, I definitely want to do it again next year! With a bigger group. It was way too much fun! Seriously.

Labor Day Fun

I’m a little back-logged here… but hey, at least I have something to post about.
For Labor Day, we headed up to my old high school “stomping grounds,” Rifle Falls and the fish hatchery with some friends and family.
I had not been back up there since I graduated (15 years ago!) so I had forgotten what a great place it was. (Seeing as I was ready to do anything to get out of the town where I went to high school, that isn’t really a surprise.)

Rifle Falls is a (you guessed it!) water fall (actually 3) and there are also lots of caves to explore and a very mild hike you can take. It’s great for active kids (and kids who whine when you walk more than a quarter of a mile.)

And the Fish Hatchery is fun, just to watch the hordes of fish all together. (Just watch out for the cranky employee!) Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pics at the hatchery. I was too busy trying to make sure Rory didn’t fall into one of the holding tanks with the fish.

Family at Rifle Falls
The Falls. It felt SO nice standing here with the mist hitting us on a hot, hot day!

In the Cave
One of the caves and all nine of our brood that day.

On the Bridge
It took several attempts to get this shot “right” and not a one of ’em was… haha!

Mommy and Beau
Beau and I on the upper part of the hiking trail.

Determined
I love the look of determination on my niece’s face here!

Crossing a bridge
Drew, no doubt, telling Beau and Zoe how it is.

Girlies Looking at the Drop
Bella, Selah and Rory looking down from the top of the falls.

Beau takes and unusual seat
No, Beau wasn’t really sitting on his buddy’s head…

The Ham
This girl. All personality.

The Drop
Spooky!

Best Girlfriends
Selah and Bella, didn’t really let go of each others hands the whole time.

Too much fun…

Homeschool Report

…sounds so… official. HA! Yeah right!

I have had a lot of people ask me how I’m liking homeschooling. I love it. It’s awesome, and I wish I had started it sooner. It is such a good fit for our family, and my personal strengths. I have such a tremendous amount of peace and just “rightness” about the whole thing. And I am happy and content. (That is huge!) I know I’ve said it before, but when you are unhappy, you need to stop and examine your life and figure out what is causing it, and fix it. (That is a lesson I wish I had learned sooner!)
Now, that is not to say that we don’t have our hard days. We do. After all, we are all still human. I am a female, and have lovely hormonal swings (lovely?! HA!) Sometimes things don’t go as planned. But I’m learning to let it go, to not hold so tightly to my perfectionist ways. I’m learning that we all have a lifetime to learn, it doesn’t all have to be done today or this year.
The kids are really enjoying homeschool too, and we have had some big successes lately. Beau, who still struggles with his motivation and focus here and there, worked very hard this week and was able to get a 100 percent on his spelling test. This is huge. (Drew got a 100 percent too, but that’s a regular thing for him.)
I am loving all the perks of homeschooling. There have been several beautiful, perfect temperature fall days recently, and we’ve done our school work outside. Next week, we’re planning on taking a trip into the nearby mountains and enjoying the scenery and fall colors (that’s if the snow actually melts.) We’ll be able to call that science and P.E. and maybe even art, if we bring our cameras!
If there is one thing I would say to moms who are thinking about homeschooling, it is this: It is not as hard as you think. Once you get your curriculum picked out (that’s the hardest part) and start to dive in and get in a groove, it will come pretty easily. There will be days when you have to remind your kids to stay focused a million times, but the benefits, and that precious time spent with your kids, far outweigh any disadvantages.

First Day of School
Here’s our pathetic first day of school shot. I should have done a better job of getting a picture that day, but it’s better than nothing.

And here are the girls…
Girly Heads