This and That

I am bored with my daily photos. I did the mile-a-day and the hair-a-day and the photo-a-day…I think I just need some pressure-free days for awhile, okay? I still have several fun photos to share.

This week, I showed Campbell how to play Hi Ho Cherry-O. It was the first “board” game Evan ever learned to play, too. She doesn’t completely get it, but she’s getting better. She does love it. It’s really impossible to resist when she gets the game and says innocently, “Wiw you pway wip me?”

I know it looks like she and Evan are playing so cute together here but they’re not. They’re fighting and I just happened to snap an in-between shot that looks peaceful. That’s the beauty of still images. Evan is bossy and controlling and can’t quite handle it when Campbell wants to put the blueberry basket in the apples spot or put the oranges on the blueberry tree. I try to tell him it doesn’t matter which tree or which berries or which basket spot, but he can’t do it. By the looks of this photo, he’s put them all in the right places, which means she’s about to move them around again.

The kids try to do puzzles. Evan was a bit less of a control freak here because he was also watching T.V. Look how long his legs are!

Evan drew this picture of Ronald Morgan (book character) in school and I think it’s cute and funny (as is my magnet).

Campbell loves piggy banks. After breaking two, she finally acquired this Little Tykes one that is more durable.

Chili is one of my favorite meals and so easy to make! I put a huge pile of sugar and cheese on mine. I always crave chili on the first few cold days of fall. We actually turned the heat on last weekend!

Evan and I made Chris a welcome-home sign and hung it on the garage. He didn’t get home until about 11:30 on Sunday night, but he still liked it.

This is his Enve Performer of the Year award. It has a little base that lights up. Very cool!

His more valuable gift was a set of wheels from Enve. Here’s a fun article about it: Xterra Performer of the Year.

Campbell took one of Chris’s swim caps, put it on, and crawled around on the floor saying, “I swimmin’!” She was wearing my shoes on her feet (flippers?) but they fell off.

Evan is really coming along with his reading this year. He reads at least one book every night. Right now, he’s reading all of the Little Bear books. They’re such sweet little stories. He used to adore that show when he was 3 or 4, but he doesn’t remember that.

Chris turned 40 this week! He looks even better at 40 than he did at 20. Well, I didn’t know him at 20, but I think he was 24 or 25 when I met him and he looks just as good as he did then. Athletes have to be pretty open about their age which is why I’ve decided to broadcast it to the world here. Evan and Campbell opened his present for him (excuse the scattering of flashcards in the back).

Today we went to Target and Home Depot in search of goods to make Evan’s Halloween costume. I don’t want to post a picture in case it doesn’t turn out. He might have to be something with a store-bought plastic mask after all, haha. We found some very detailed directions online but they require things like spray glue, insulation, speaker mesh, etc. We found maybe half of the stuff. We need to make a trip to the craft store and also consult with Daddy. I’m already overwhelmed and we haven’t even started on it yet. Evan used his own money from the fair premiums and some other things to buy himself a new Lego. That was a lot simpler purchase than the Halloween costume goods.

2012 Xterra National Championships {Ogden, Utah}

Chris raced at Xterra Nationals yesterday. Even though he’s had a great season and we say things like winning is just icing on the cake (which it is), the reality is, he really wanted to win. Of course, he always wants to win, but he has never won at nationals and wanted it to happen this year. He caught a cold a couple of weeks ago and his energy hasn’t returned, so he was pretty nervous going in.

Friday night at the pre-race banquet, he was awarded the Xterra Athlete of the Year, which was so exciting (and well deserved). He’s raced seven times this year and won seven times (6 overall and 1 4th overall at UTI Worlds). He won a really nice set of Enve wheels. This award is only given to one athlete, so it’s a really amazing honor.

Here are the Midwestern regional age-group champs:

One of his friend’s wife was there spectating and snapping pictures the whole while, posting them to my Facebook. I just adore Facebook, don’t you? I’m so grateful for these images.

He was in 11th overall after the swim.

Here he is on the bike. Not sure where or when. It looks like maybe right out of T1?

This image is from Xterra’s Facebook page. He’s right behind the women’s pro leader.

And finally, running down a big ski slope to the finish.

He looks tired! The altitude is so killer for those that train here at a few hundred feet.

He ended up in 7th overall and first in his age group, so a national win (the big races are all age group for amateurs–no special honor for overall wins). Mission accomplished!

The pros ran the same course, and if he raced pro, he would have gotten 15th overall. That’s a very respectable finish, too! He has no desire to turn pro, but knowing he can compete among the top pros is pretty awesome.

There’s a highlights video here:

We are so proud of him and anxious for his return tonight!

Xterra Illinois Wilds {Wildlife Prairie State Park, Hanna City, Illinois}

This morning we went to the last Xterra of the year in our area–Xterra Illinois Wilds in Hanna City, Illinois. This one is the closest to our house, so we were able to drive out this morning and skip the whole hotel nonsense. I took pictures of most of the athletes on the bike, and they are here: Xterra Illinois Wilds Photos. Here are the ones I took of Chris.

The swim:

Running into T1:


Coming into T2:

Heading out on the run:

He got first overall, which was a nice way to end a very successful Xterra season! The only race left is U.S. Nationals in Utah next month.