Running Log 6/12/17

Running Log 6/12/17

Location: PG Rec Center

Participants: Family minus Josh (Scout Camp) plus cousins Jake and Caly

Task: Caterpillars for 25 minutes.

Gold Star for the day undoubtedly goes to Andrew.  He needed some encouragement but he ran the entire thing.  He has never gone that far or that long non-stop before.  I was very impressed with him.  It was good to not see him quit, which is normally the problem.  He gives up on hard things, but not today!

Every else did just fine.  It was a nice slow pace so they didn’t quite run 2 miles.  They all ran well and I didn’t hear any complaining.

This is the first time we’ve done Caterpillars without a baton to pass back.  Instead, that last person would simply wait until they saw the person ahead of them finish their sprint, and then they would sprint to the front themselves.  This adds more sprinting by eliminating the time for the baton to be passed back.  They all handled it quite well.  The added runner helped mitigate the extra running.

Overall a very good run.  This is the first running log in a few weeks because we’ve been doing other things, so it was good to get back “on track.”  I was able to walk almost a full lap with JR at a VERY slow pace.  The time spent standing though took its toll and I was in quite a bit of pain at the end.  Lifting Steven to get a drink near the end was excruciating.

I have video for you today… Enjoy!

UPDATE: new video without the music that got blocked!

Turning Pigeons Into Dust

Before you call PETA about cruelty issues, I’m talking about shooting clay pigeons!

What a Way to Bond!

As a social activity our Elder’s Quorum got together on Saturday and went out for some gun time.   A friend of one of our members owns a rock quarry on the west side of Utah Lake that served as the perfect venue.   So about a dozen of us gathered together with firearms in tow, ready to shoot!

Sorry that video is so long and boring.  I was caught between wanting to keep it short, but not wanting to cut anyone’s ‘moment’ out.  So it dragged on much longer than I anticipated… sorry.

Shooting other guns too…

We had lots of options to shoot with, not just shotguns.  There was a wide variety of AR’s, AK’s, pistols, etc.   Because everyone kind of broke off to shoot their weapon of choice I didn’t get much video of that going on.  I did get this gem of Joshua though…

I feel like everyone had a fantastic time, and came home whole.  So I’d call it a successful day!  Let’s do it again soon guys.



Book Review: The Amber Brown Collection

The Amber Brown Collection (Vol 1-8), by Paula Danziger

We received the Amber Brown collection as a gift after our last house fire.  These books are suggested for ages 7 & up.  I love to see my kids read and was excited to try out a new set.   I read all eight this week.

You Can’t Eat your Chicken Pox, Amber Brown

It’s the summer following third grade and Amber Brown is crossing the pond.  She has an aunt in London and when her parents separated, her dad moved to Paris.  Unfortunately, Amber comes down with chicken pox on the second day in London.  Kind of a cute story, but really weighed down with the parent line.  Amber has a “Dad book” that she talks to because she misses her dad so much.  When her dad insinuates that he wasn’t sure her chicken pox were real or if they were a story to keep the two apart, I got uncomfortable.

I’m only a kid.
Why do I have to worry about all of this?

I tend to agree.  I realize that not all kids have a perfect family life.  But this is pretty heavy for a 7 year old to read.

Amber Brown Goes Fourth

It’s the beginning of fourth grade and Amber Brown misses her best friend who moved away before summer vacation.  Lots of kids have a hard time with the beginning of the new school year and trying to make new friends.  It seems fairly realistic in the way the fourth graders relate to one another.  But the storyline gets high-jacked with negative emotions.  Yes, Amber Brown resolves to “go fourth” with determination, but there is so much negative, so much worrying.  Young children should be reading light-hearted stories where the “conflict” is how much of a mess they made and how much trouble they are going to get in.

Amber Brown Wants Extra Credit

When Amber Brown’s school work begins to suffer, she vows to do better.  But there are so many things that have her worried and make it hard to focus on school.  Her mom wants her to meet her new boyfriend.  Amber wants things to go back to the way before the divorce.  Her biggest fear is that she might like the boyfriend and that wouldn’t be fair to her dad.  It’s a lot for a nine-year old to deal with.

Forever Amber Brown

This book deals with change.  Some changes are good and we chose them.  Others are kind of forced on us.  When Amber’s mom receives a marriage proposal, the two of them head to Alabama to stay with their best friends and make some decisions.  Amber likes the time spent with her best friend, Justin, who moved away just 6 months earlier.  While there, she learns that change is inevitable, but she will forever be Amber Brown.

Amber Brown Sees Red

This book is full of silly episodes, beginning with skunks in the school.  Yeah, just a little unrealistic but kids would totally eat it up.  More negativity as Amber’s dad announces his intention of moving back to New Jersey.  And what children’s series doesn’t have a bad haircut as the icing on the cake.

Amber Brown is Feeling Blue

Amber is forced to choose between her parents.  Thanksgiving with Mom and boyfriend Max in Washington State, or New York City with her dad.  There is also a new girl in her class, Kelly Green.  Despite a rocky first day together, the two girls become friends.  The story dwells so much on Amber’s emotional turmoil, that the character development is seriously lacking.

I, Amber Brown

It’s Christmas time, but this book fails to spread the holiday cheer.  As Amber’s father moves back from Paris, they begin a joint-custody routine.  Amber even pits the parents against each other when her mom says no to pierced ears, but her dad doesn’t know about that conversation.  When dad finds a place to rent nearby, Amber loves the family that lives upstairs.

Amber Brown is Green With Envy

This is the last book in our box set, but not the last one in “the colorful world of Amber Brown.”  But these books just aren’t very colorful to me.  In this book, there is more fighting between the parents and Mom and boyfriend decide to move to a new house so ex-husband won’t have a history there.  And Amber is mad about it.  Dad goes on a date. And Amber is mad about it.  Once again, the whole book is filled with anger and negativity but everything is supposed to be all better with the last two lines…

Life can be very confusing . . . . filled with good things and filled with bad things.

But it’s my life . . . . . and I have choices.


I only give this series 2 out of a dozen buttered rolls.  It was pretty easy reading for the age suggested 7 & up.  The books are not a “numbered series.” I read Amber Brown is Feeling Blue first and was totally confused.  The author spends very little time in character development so if you read them out of order, you will be lost.  So I looked on the “Box,” figured out the order and followed the story line much better.  They should be read in order, even if the author won’t tell you what that order is.

And then there is the content.  The cover promises an “Always Bright, Amazingly Bold, Amber Brown.   I disagree.  Amber was rarely bright (whitty or positive), and her boldness flirted with rude and disrespectful because it was always aimed at her parents.  Divorce is real, it is ugly, but I doubt these books would help a child cope.  They took real situations and dwelt on the negative.  I don’t think you can spend 150 pages filled with hate, anger, and malice, then say “but it’s my life” and expect it all to be better.

I am grateful that my children are not in Amber’s situation.  Maybe a child from a broken home would find comfort in these books, confirmation that they are not the only ones that feel this way.  Still, I think there has to be a better, more healthy way to help children cope with those feelings.

What Is That? – The Saga Continues

Last week I posted about our glorious relics found while cleaning out my parents house.  You can read about it here.  This week is Part II of that story.  Last week was mostly from the “Great Room” above the garage.  This week is mostly from the basement.

“What is that?” is the most common question the kids have asked while cleaning?  So far, the answers have included the following:

What Is That?

tithing slips from 1993

4 decorative clocks

an old water heater

the Ark of the Covenant

cooking gadgets galore

the framed Christmas Card we gave my parents to announce our first pregnancy – Caitlin

a picture of my parents on their wedding day

a stuffed Tiger Fish

a tablet that nobody knew existed


enough MRE’s to feed the 101st Airborne

Christmas lights… again

coupon for .50cents off a 12 pack of Coke… expired 2002

the Kusanagi sword that was supposedly lost as sea

rocking chair my mother had as a child

2 unopened attic fans

a glass jar my mother says is older than she is

Llywelyn’s Coronet

3 unopened things of Dominos

a jar of Mango strips

a bouncy ball hidden under a floor for 30 years

spiderwebs… lots and lots of spiderwebs

Peking Man

a racquetball that I had thought was a pile of cobwebs until I picked it up

a big rock …x3000

4 (or more) drills that don’t work

an unused 125,000 BTU furnace

a large wooden turkey

The Jules Rimet Trophy missing from Brazil since the a970’s

30 year old fiberglass HVAC ducts (duct board) x 40

enough glass jars to make Ball and Kerr jealous

and finally…

Old Milk
Jars of old chocolate and dehydrated milk… apparently from April, 1978. Yummy!