Monday, November 23, 2015

Dance Party!

We've thrown many birthday parties at our house, but Natalie thought this one might be deemed "best ever."  Alyssa invited nearly 20 of her favorite friends to celebrate her fifteenth birthday with a garage dance party.  

Jon got pretty involved in the party planning, too.  He hung a black light and a rotating dance light that sparkled in various colors.  He ordered 100 glow bracelets, found some glow-in-the-dark face paint and created a play list of all of Alyssa's favorite music.  I stapled a massive sheet of black plastic to the ceiling to cover our "junk."  Don't get me wrong, it was still a garage, but it was as awesome as a garage could be.

After dinner and gifts inside--Alyssa's friends spoiled her rotten!--the girls went out to the garage and danced the night away.  

Such a fun party for such a great girl!

Friday, November 20, 2015


Since the cross country season ended, Caleb has been asked multiple times if he will continue running.  His usual response is something like, "Nah, I pretty much consider myself retired."

It's too bad because he really is pretty fast.  And though I've said it a million times, I'll say it again: I love cross country and am so grateful for what it's done for my boy.

Some races this last season were HOT!

One was the rainiest I've ever seen:

Over the years, Jon and I have cooked pre-meet spaghetti dinners for the team.  The coaches have always been incredibly appreciative, so we've been happy to do it.

Cooking spaghetti for 50 teenagers at a park in Portland, Oregon.

Caleb will tell you that his favorite part of cross country was the spaghetti feeds.  They were often held in teammates' homes--the boys and girls eating separately.  The night before subdistricts however, I cooked the food in the school's home economics room and the entire team ate right in the middle of the hallway.

Subdistricts is always Caleb's best race of the season.  His senior year was no different.  He placed 24th out of 312 with a time of 18:36.  That's a 5:59 pace!

The Riverside JV boys placed first!

Non-quals is a two miler for all runners that don't qualify for districts.  It's mostly just for fun.  Some runners even wear costumes.  Caleb was among those that ran it hard.  His time of 11:02 earned him a seventh place ribbon.

First race as a freshman to last race as a senior.  Look how he's grown! 
At the banquet he was presented a second year letter, academic achievement and scholar athlete awards.  He was also given a new AR hoodie for being a four year participant.

What an amazing program with amazing coaches!  As a young freshman, reluctant to try new things, I considered it a miracle--a literal answer to prayers--that Caleb joined the cross country team.  It turned out to be everything I'd hoped it would be for him.

And now he's retired.