Monday, June 27, 2011

Spilling Tie Dye

Today me and my family went to the old tie dye store and nobody was there. But there was a sign that said where they moved. Fortunately, it was really close. We bought some tie dye shirts and dye.

Will went to the zoo today and saw lots of animals with his grandparents. When Will finally came home, we started to tie dye. Jackson did one shirt all green and another shirt in a spider design. Will did multi color shirt with swirls and another that was stripes. I did a sunshine shirt with a swirl on the shoulder and a VIKINGS shirt with a swirl on the shoulder.

We all used so much dye that it went through the plastic wrap on the table. We even tie dyed our house- don't be gullible and believe that! (Gullible is our word of the week- it means you believe everything somebody says).

Tonight the kids and me are going to make dinner. We are making deep dish pizza, salad, fruit, and of course, dessert! We are going to watch a movie or even maybe go night swimming. And remember if you are going to do tie dye have the whole gang do it.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Adventures in Gerken Land

The Smith-Krause house left Monday to head to Anne Thurmond's family cabin outside Omaha, NE at Woodcliff Lake. It was a good drive since we could spread the kids and adults out between the two cars.

Anne and I went running a couple of mornings while we were there, and Jeff and Jon had an adventurous bike ride where the women had to come to the rescue. They do sure look cute in their matching jerseys!
Our first night there, we were fortunate enough to be caught in quite a storm. The power went out until the afternoon of the next day because trees were uprooted and broken branches took out a powerline. Luckily power was restored the next day!

We went over to Anne's Aunt Diane's house the next day. Her husband John and Diane herself are accomplished big game hunters. They have a museum of sorts in their home of all their trophies. I have never seen anything like it. I couldn't help but take a bunch of pictures and forward them along to my dad.
We also drove into Omaha where we went to the Omaha Zoo to meet Jon's brother Cliff, his wife Angie, and their two kids Emery and Miles. They all came back to the lake with us after our zoo trip.

Anne had us make a pitstop on the way to a restaurant so the kids could stand on this amazing bridge which had the state line dividing Nebraska from Iowa.

The next day was the first really nice day at the lake. We spent the majority of the day on the beach playing in the sand or in the water. The kids even put on a show for us- the play even had a message about kids who don't listen to their parents. How appropriate!

We are so thankful for the time with Jon, Anne, and Adam and getting to know Cliff, Angie, and their kids. A great time was had by all.

The Ultra

Jeff and I left Thursday afternoon of last week to pace our cousin Bryan in his quest to finish an ultramarathon. The race took place in the Big Horn Mountain Range in lovely picturesque Dayton, WY. After a briefing session Friday morning, our Krause team was ready to go. Jeff, Shelley and I were the approved pacers with Jeff running about 40 miles, Shelley 17, and me 20. His crew chiefs were his dad, Kenny, and his son Kennan. It was a full family affair.

Jeff's first pacing job started earlier than expected when the course changed because of the amount of snow still up in the mountains. Jeff picked up Bryan at mile 24 at his first rest area/pit stop. Here Bryan would change shoes, socks, maybe shorts, and then refill his beverages. It was tough to get Bryan to eat much. Nothing really sounded good, but that didn't stop his pacers and family from picking up his leftovers.

At each aid station, even at aid stations we ran into in the middle of nowhere, they had crews ready with food. Some of the crews had to pack in all the food on horseback while others could use ATVs. It was amazing to eat hot soup when you were freezing cold. Most stations had sandwiches, soup, all sorts of candies, pop, water, and electrolytes.

Jeff and Bryan ran from miles 24 to 40 where I picked up Bryan for our run through the night. Waiting for Bryan and Jeff to come into the Footbridge Aid station knowing that I was going out with Bryan to run through the night left me feeling very anxious. Looking back, I would definitely pack differently for my portion of the race, but I wouldn't give up my shift. Bryan and I had 20 miles to cover. We left at 10 pm and ran until just past 6 am the next morning. We even encountered a moose that Bryan managed in his sleep deprived state to shoo-away from me. We were able to see the last rays of sunshine and the majestic sun rise the next morning as most of our path followed the Tongue River which was raging!

When we returned to the Footbridge Aid station the next day, Jeff picked up Bryan again after a few hours of "sleep" in our car. On a side note, just to get to this aid station by car, Kenny had to forge three rivers in our Sequoia. If you are ever questioning the all-terrain capabilities of a Toyota, don't. Kenny caravanned us to each place safely without a dent in the car! Jeff took Bryan to mile 77 where we met them back at the Dry Fork Aid station. Bryan was definitely feeling the effects of staying up all night and running 77 miles at this point.

Shelley met Bryan at mile 77 where she was to take him all the way home to mile 100. Because the course had changed, not all the cut-off stations where aware of the new cut-off times. Bryan was assured at mile 77 he had enough time to make it home, but an aid station felt different at mile 82. I can't even imagine trying to make your point about cut-off times when you have been running for a day and a half.

We are so proud of Bryan going for his goal. We know that we would sign-up again to help him. While waiting for Bryan at the appointed aid stations, I had the fabulous opportunity to get to know his son Kennan and dad Kenny better. I couldn't ask for better family members and a more entertaining and exciting time.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Father's Day

We celebrated Father's day early at our house since Emma wasn't going to be with us, and Jeff really needed to open his present from the kids before we left for Wyoming for the weekend. Jeff received a letter from each kid detailing what a great dad he is to them. Here are some excerpts:

Jackson: "You are the best dad in the whole world. You help me with stuff I want to learn like a few days ago you showed me percentages. I like that you always support me with all different sports and let me come to cross country. You are a great runner and amaze me with your ability to run."

Emma:" You are the coolest Jeff I could ever have. I love how you rub my back. Also you always watch out for me. Finally, you love me."

Will: "You are so special. I can't believe it. You are special because you swim with me. and you play with me. and you help me with tall things."

It is really heart warming to read their personal notes! Then the kids and I conducted an elaborate rouse that had Jeff thinking something was wrong with the car radio- when he went to start the car, he found out there was nothing wrong with the radio, but instead he now had his much coveted XM radio back! The radio has been put to good use with our trips to Wyoming and Nebraska over the past week.

To mimic some of our friends posts about their husbands, here is what I absolutely love about Jeff as a dad...

1. He never fails to be there for his family. He shows up at games, coaches every one of our kids in a sport-this is no small feat, sits down to read with them, encourages them to try new things, and pushes them to be their best.
2. He sets a great example for the boys to follow about what it means to be a man, a dad, and a husband. He is not afraid to shower the boys with hugs, kisses, and snuggle time. He sings to them, teaches them about appreciating good music-even if it is Grateful Dead, and of course, is not afraid to get down on the ground and wrestle with them.
3. He sets a great example for Emma. He is her Jeffy! He is incredibly patient with her in her schoolwork and coaching her teams. He never fails to teach her something new in soccer and take the time just to snuggle too. He even gets his own day with her- Jeff's Day. This is our way of celebrating father's day or mother's day with our kids when they can't be with us on the actual day. It makes for a great surprise.4. He sets a great example for me of what it means to be loving parent.
5. He reminds me that there is always time to play. I always need this reminder.
6. He is still the one who gets up with the kids at night.
7. In all the years, I have never thought someone could measure up in my eyes to my own dad, but Jeff does that each and every day.

Happy Father's Day Babe!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Competitions are under way

Jackson's results are in for the Hershey State meet. He competed in the 200, 400, and softball throw and qualified in all of them! After competing for qualifying spots on Friday, Jackson ran in a track meet on Saturday. He placed fourth in the 110 hurdles, 100 yard dash, 400 and softball throw. He felt like he did really well. He is really enjoying the hurdles- check out the video to see some of his practice runs.


Emma had an amazing swim meet on Saturday. She swam the 25 free, 50 free, 25 back and 25 medley relay. She cut 6 seconds off her 25 free time and 4 seconds off her previous best 50 yard free time. We have never seen her swim so fast.

She is improving so much and we are excited to see what happens this week- maybe under 1 minute for her 50 free?

(For those of you who pay attention to the swim caps, you'll notice Emma is wearing one swim cap for her 25 back, and switched caps for her 25 free- why? It's Emma of course!)

Will- what's up with Will? Well, he is taking tennis lessons and swim lessons. Today, he started work on flip turns. He is gaining a lot of confidence on swimming continuously without putting his feet down. By the time we head to the Johnson cabin, he will be a regular fish in the water.

Jeff and I leave on Thursday to pace Bryan in his quest for the ultramarathon! We are heading up to Sheridan, WY. If you are interested to know more about the race, here is a link to the race site as well as here is a map of the course. This is by far one of the most interesting athletic challenges I have ever taken on in my life. I am going to be running with Bryan during the night (about 19-20 miles) and Jeff will run another 20+ with Bryan after my portion is done. Wish us luck and keep us in your prayers. We definitely will need them.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Hershey Track

Today, Jackson competed to qualify for the State Hershey Track meet next weekend. He entered the softball throw, 400, and 200. His throws in the softball competition were very good with his best at 96' 6". (Look at that great form!)

In the 400, Jackson ran in a mixed age group of older boys and kids his own age. He ran a 1:26 and finished well. The 400 is such a tough race being able to pace yourself by not going out too quickly and still leaving enough to finish strong. I think he qualified in this race. We will have to do some serious training this next week if he does.

Finally, Jackson finished with a 36.66 in the 200. He was the least excited about his performance in this race. He did well, but there were a lot of fast kids in his age group. He really wished that they would allow the younger kids to run the 800, 1, 600 or 3, 200 since distance is more his thing.

We will find out his race results on Monday to see what he qualified in.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Messy faces Anniversary

Last night it was my mom and dad's anniversary; we had ribs for dinner. All my family combined ate 20 ribs. Jackson stomach was over capacity. We were all full of ribs and key lime . Last night my family and I watched the Stanley cup finals. With all the food we ate, we finally went to bed in 5 seconds to fall into deep sleep.

Here's a picture of my mom and dad before their wedding.

- Emma

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weekend fun

On Friday, we celebrated National Donut Day with a trip to Krispy Kreme to receive our free donut. Jackson was able to bring his friend Mason with us. It was a trip enjoyed by all. When we came home, we all went swimming with a couple of friends invited along.

Friday night, Jeff and I took of for the weekend with our friends the Thurmonds for some rest and a half marathon. We stayed at the beautiful Steamboat Grand.

Jeff and Jon went bike riding on Saturday with their sweet matching jerseys, and Anne and I put in just a couple of miles to prepare for our race the next day. Saturday was spent relaxing, reading, sitting by the pool, playing games, and Jeff learning how addictive Angry Birds can be.

Sunday Anne and I competed in the Steamboat Half Marathon. Anne had a personal best and I finished well too.

Here are my results:
Anne Smith
Littleton CO
69/939 (place overall)
1:40:58 (Time)
36 (Age)
25/632 (Place out of females)
35-39 (Age group)
5/115 (Place out of age group)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Yesterday we had a fun day and I had some friends come over (Scott and Mark) and we played at the pool almost all day.

Today we went to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo with Anne and Adam Thurmond and Grandma Sheila (Anne's mom).Adam was scared of the giraffe when he fed it.The giraffe had a big purple tongue and he liked us a lot. Adam loved the fish and the bears and tigers.I was amazed that some animals can camouflage so well.

We have been praying for little Sam (our friends Jason and Kristin Leclaire's little boy) and hope that he gets better soon.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Skiing to late night swimming

Memorial Day weekend left Jeff and I without the kids. I can't tell you how relaxing it was other than to explain later on what we did once they returned. Saturday Jeff and I ran with one of my best buddies Anne Thurmond for our final long run before our half marathon race up in Steamboat this coming weekend. We ran 8 miles and then Jeff and I went out for breakfast. The luxury of reading the paper, having a cup of coffee and enjoying one another's company was not lost on us. That night, our cousins Bryan and Shelley picked us up to go for a night time run in Deer Creek Canyon. I have never run in the dark before let alone run in a night...on trails...with wild animals....CRAZY! We ran about three hours or 10.5 miles in preparation for Jeff and I pacing Bryan at his ultra marathon in Big Horn National Park in a couple of weeks. I was really tired but glad to have an idea of what was going to be expected of Jeff and I in order to keep up with Bryan. Jeff is going to pace Bryan for about 37 miles and I have about 17 miles plus my shift doesn't even begin until 10:30 pm.

The rest of the weekend was spent lounging until the Thurmonds convinced us to come over for lunch and dinner on Monday breaking in their new patio furniture. It's a good thing we have friends otherwise I am not sure if we would have ever left the house!

And then the kids returned:

Yesterday was a crazy day here at the Smith-Krause house. After Jackson and Will arrived, Jackson and I took off for Arapahoe Basin to take in some May skiing. The mountain had a bunch of runs still open and Jackson was the only one who wanted to complete the adventure with me. When we got to A Basin, the temps at the base were about 40 degrees with an expected high of 52. However, after lunch, Jackson and I both agreed that it was much warmer than that. We skied for about 5 hours which was exhausting on my part. I finally told Jackson at 2:30, I was done. He coaxed me into two more runs, one of which had us trapped on a chair lift for about 10 minutes. What a great feeling to ski on May 31.

When we finally got in the car to return home, the thermometer read 60! We knew it was warmer than they were claiming. On the way home, Jackson wanted to go swimming, and because we live in Colorado, that is possible. So from ski slopes to the swimming pool, we did them both in one day. Jackson, Emma and Will swam for over an hour and then we came home to use the fire pit and roast S'Mores. YUMMY! I think this is why Jeff and I are so exhausted everyday ; we try to roll every activity into every day.