Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

Archive for June, 2007

Another memorable (and endless) anniversary

28th June 2007

Not exactly the way I’d like to spend my anniversary, but at least I was suffering with my sweet husband, and he wasn’t in the hospital!  

We’re still trying to get home… We got off at about 8am, then had to go back for something we forgot at the hotel.  Then we had restless kids and spent some time in Madison at a Hardee’s playground to wear them out around lunch time.  Brian’s feeling considerably better, but he’s still got issues.  I’m sure the checker at WalMart had it all figured out as Brian checked out with Immodium, a package of new boxers and a pair of shorts.  Then shortly after that, Analise woke from a nap burning up, and threw up when we tried to get some tylenol into her. 

We should have taken the cues to stop our travels there, and continue tomorrow.  But no, we pressed on… and sure enough, though she was feeling better and ate a little dinner, she threw up again this evening all over her car seat.  45 minutes and an entire container of wipes later, we trudged on looking for a place to stay.  We’re finally here in Marion, IL.  Brian desperately wanted to make it to Paducah, Kentucky, since he feels like Illinois has defeated us today.  But I convinced him to stop a littler earlier so we can actually rest.  We’ve still got 400 miles to go tomorrow. 

Hopefully we’ll check in tomorrow from Birmingham…

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Just a reminder for myself and anyone else who needs it…

27th June 2007

And God is able to make ALL grace abound, so that in ALL things, at ALL times, having ALL that you need, you will abound for every good work.  –2nd Corintihans 9:8

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We’re trying to get home…

27th June 2007

It’s been a good trip, and I look forward to sharing lots of great pictures with you. But I’ve got just a second to ask for a favor as we’re heading home…

Brian’s been sick since Monday with an intestinal bug. We had plans to meet my friend, Dena, and her son, Derek, in Wausau for playing at the playground, lunch and splashing at the splash pad before heading to southern IL for the night, and finishing the trip back to AL tomorrow. Well, Brian was feeling somewhat better today, so we headed off. He felt worse and worse as we drove over, but just wanted to rest in the air conditioned car while we played and had lunch. He finally felt too bad, though and tried to come find us in the restaurant and passed out briefly, probably due to dehydration.

Thankfully, Dena and my other friend, Jen, took Analise and the kids to splash, after Jen found out from her sister the best walk-in clinic for us to go to. It was a super choice, as they took good care of us. I only had to manage to get Josiah and a largely incapacitated Brian in to the doctor. He got some meds and some IV fluids and slept, and amazingly, so did Josiah, for most of the time we were there. Analise was an angel when she arrived, and after about 4 hours at the clinic, they sent us home… well, "home" meaning whatever hotel we could find here, instead of the one we had reserved in southern IL.

So, we’re in a hotel in Wausau, Wisconsin, with 14 more hours of travel ahead of us to get back to Birmingham. Toss up a prayer for us… I’m anxious to get us all home, safe and sound, so we can get healthy and get some good rest. It’s hard to take care of a sick husband and 2 lively kids, especially when you’re in a city you don’t know well and your plans are all jumbled up. God took good care of us today, and I know He’ll get us home. I just hope it’s soon!

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Race/Vacation Update

26th June 2007

My number one fans before the start of the Mankato Race.

Another number one fan. Analise was standing there as I was getting ready to warm-up. Whenever Kristine would tell
her to say "Go Daddy Go", she would instead come over to me and give me a hug around my leg which is what
she is doing in the second picture above. I ended up 8th in the race (see the race report below).

Here I am in second position near the beginning of the race.

Whew, a lot has happened since I last wrote, but it has been hard to sit down and find time to upload pictures or write a blog. First, the Nature Valley Grand Prix is over and done with and it was an exciting race to watch. I hope to be an active participant in next year’s edition. I was still able to race in the amateur races on Saturday and Sunday and I’ve included my race report below for those who are interested.

Currently, I am sitting in a local coffee shop with air conditioning and wireless internet. I have managed to get sick again this year and have been feeling really really bad. To put it in perspective, I didn’t ride my bike today and probably won’t tomorrow making for only the 3rd and 4th, days this year I have not ridden my bike. Kristine, the amazing superhero mom and beautiful wife, has picked up the slack and is at her parent’s home getting two sometimes very fussy kids to sleep in 90 degree weather without air conditioning. I missed a trip to the Shell Lake beach during lunch so Kristine will have to report on how that went. Ok, I think that’s all for now, except for my race report below:

Minnesota Iron and Metal Criterium (June 23)

I felt good during this race. Great start, good position for most of the race. I stayed near the front going with every break thinking that a break would emerge fairly quickly like it did during the training crit on Tuesday. Unfortunately, there was a large team (Grandstay Hotel) that was not letting anything get away and they didn’t seem interested in getting in a break themselves. They chased down their own breakaway at least once. With three laps to go on the 1.5 mile course, one rider attacked and got a short gap. With two to go, I attacked hard through the start/finish gapping the field and bridging to the lone rider. I passed him and kept going through the next two corners. Then I made a mistake by looking back. Never look back with less than 2 laps to go!!! I was discouraged thinking that the gap wasn’t enough so I sat up. It took an agonizingly long 5-6 seconds for the field to catch me after I sat up. I then tried to go for the sprint, too, and managed 8th. I should have won that race just by laying it all out once I had the gap.

Stillwater Kurt Kinetic Criterium (June 24)

This race was unbelievable. We raced on the same crit course as the pro’s with the 20+ percent gradient climb. Imagine something slightly less steep than South Cove Dr in a crit! The start was at the bottom of the climb and the finish was at the top of the climb so my heart rate went from 98 before the start to 182 in less than a minute. I felt great on the climb and the group went from maybe 50 at the start to just 10 of us with about 4 laps to go. One guy attacked on the hill and I was right there and started to bridge up to him, but there were 3 Grandstay Hotels riders at the front who had been chasing down everything earlier so I figured they would just chase us down again so I sat up. Unfortunately, they were tired and they didn’t really chase that hard so we were racing for 2nd place with one lap to go when I had an anaerobic brain meltdown – I started to figure out how I could move into position to be first around the last corner since there was hardly any room between that corner and what I was thinking was the finish line. So I attacked and moved into first through the corner thinking that there was no way anybody could pass after the corner … But as soon as I rounded the corner, I remembered that the finish line was at the top of the hill. This meant that I was at the front leading into the hill at which point I made another mistake – I should have attacked at the bottom of the hill rather than waiting for people to come from behind me to attack. When those attacks came I got passed by everyone except one guy. I was able to re-pass a couple guys on the climb since it was so steep, but that was only good enough for 6th  in the race.

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The Joys and Woes of Travelling

21st June 2007

Whew, it’s taken me a while to be able to sit down and write this blog!  We’ve been so busy.  Even now, it’s 10:45, and we’re just now getting settled into bed, but I thought I’d steal a few minutes to catch you up a couple of our adventures.  I’ll use my trip summary from an earlier blog, and give you the "plan" versus "actual" trip details. 

  • Friday, June 15thour departure, EARLY.  LONG day in the car.  Hopefully, we’ll get into my friend Tami’s house before midnight.  Surprisingly early departure, before 7am!  Only one trip back to the house – just from outside the neighborhood – for my wedding ring.  It was  LONG day in the car, as anticipated, and let’s just say that my kids are not very good at entertaining themselves.  Thank goodness for the movies and playgrounds at McDonalds.  We got in to Tami’s at 1am, got the kids back to sleep just before 2, and Josiah awoke at the crack of dawn in the 5 o’clock hour. 
  • Saturday – Spend the morning with Tami and her family, and then head off to Shell Lake, WI, my parent’s house. Fun morning hanging out with Tami – who’s having a baby in just a few days! – and her son, Scott.  Analise and Josiah enjoyed playing on his new playground, and though Analise had problems sharing, I think they had fun together in the long run.  Then we had another long afternoon in the car before and evening with my family.  Even Kat was home to greet us.  One embarassing moment.. we left poor pregnant Tami on the floor cleaning up after an Analise accident just as we were leaving.  I felt so bad!  Sorry, Tami! 
  • Sunday – Go to church at Salem, enjoy a little down time with my family. It’s always nice to go back to the church I grew up in.  No one could believe how big Josiah had gotten.  We had a quiet Father’s Day with my dad and Brian. Brian’s highlight was his new books, the promise of a new Tour de France DVD and a 3 hour bike ride.  What more could he ask for?
  • Monday afternoon, June 18thHead to the Twin Cities to visit with my brother-in-law, Hal.  Stay with my dad in his new apartment in Minneapolis, his weekday home while he’s working at the University of Minnesota. We actually had a quiet day in Shell Lake before heading to the Twin Cities, meeting my dad for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Pizza Luce.  His apartment is really nice, though we’ve cluttered it up pretty well. 
  • Tuesday – No plans! We joined my brother-in-law, Hal, for a trip to the Como Zoo and some rides at the ComoTown kids amusement park.  Very fun!  We’ve got a few pictures to come later.  I tried to visit my dear Trader Joe’s grocery store, but it turned into a major mis-navigation mess.  I’ll share more details later.  Now it’s a funny story.  It was quite the disappointment on Tuesday. 
  • Wednesday, June 20th – The bike racing begins!  Stage 1: St. Paul Criterium  In case you didn’t catch Brian’s note last week, he’d not racing in the 5-day Nature Valley Grand Prix bike race as we expected.  Quite a disappointment, and not without huge amounts of trying to convince people to let him race.  He definitely is competing at the level of these racers, but it just wasn’t meant to be.  But we’re here anyway, and he’s racing this weekend in the amateur races.  We met some dear friends of mine from Mercy Ships, Amy & Brian Finley and their son Caleb, and Shelly and Gaston Kingue and their son Nathaniel for lunch.  Wonderful, sweet reunion that nearly brings tears to my eyes.  It was so fun to be together with our little ones reminiscing, literally in awe of all God’s done since we met in the fall of 1999.  All three of us were just diving into our young-single adventures in the mission field.  So much has happened!  It was a great time.
  • After some naps, Brian, Analise and my dad went down to St. Paul to watch the bike race.  I had a rare evening out to myself with one of my dearest friends, Robyn.  It was another sweet, time of catching up, and it was so good for my heart to have some girl time.  Robyn’s about to have her first baby any day now.  Another wonderful time of reminiscing and enjoying God’s grace on our lives.  What a great, awesome day of enjoying friendships from the past for me.  Much needed. 
  • Thursday, June 21st – Stage 2: Road Race in Cannon Falls No bike race for us today.  We had a fun adventure at the Mall of America, playing in the amusement park, doing a little shopping and enjoying the Underwater Adventure aquarium (where you walk through a glass walkway under all the fish, sharks, rays and turtles.  Very cool.  I made a nice dinner of tortelli and sausage to get Brian started on his carbo-loading for this weekend’s races.  Then I FINALLY got my long-awaited trip to Trader Joe’s.  *sigh*  Love that store. 
  • Enough details.  We’ll be back tomorrow with pictures, hopefully.  Not much on the agenda tomorrow.  We need a rest day!

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    Alive in Minnesota

    20th June 2007

    Just wanted to let everyone know we made it up here to Minnesota and are having a great time… I’ve posted a few pictures below, but hopefully we’ll be able to get some more pictures uploaded tomorrow and recap some of our adventures.

    Father’s Day in Shell Lake, Wisconsin

    Having fun at the Como Zoo in St. Paul, Minnesota. This picture has a funny story
    that goes along with it. Right before the operator started the ride, she told
    all the kids that if for any reason they got scared and needed her to stop the ride
    that they should raise their hand really high. The operator then demonstrated what to do
    by raising her hand. Analise followed right along and raised her hand
    and then kept it raised for nearly the entire ride. It was hilarious!

    There are so many more pictures to post and stories to tell from our journey to Iowa, Wisconsin, and now Minnesota — but I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to post them. Hope everyone is doing well. Good-night!

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    Our next Big Bike Race – the Nature Valley Grand Prix

    12th June 2007

    This Friday we’ll be hitting the road again, incorporating a big 5-day stage race, the Nature Valley Grand Prix, with a trip to see my family in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Here’s the preliminary details… (as much for ourselves as for you!)

    • Friday, June 15th – our departure, EARLY.  LONG day in the car, thankfully Brian’s dad’s car with a DVD player and extra room, with 2 bikes on the back.  Hopefully, we’ll get into my friend Tami’s house before midnight. 
    • Saturday – Spend the morning with Tami and her family, and then head off to Shell Lake, WI, my parent’s house.
    • Sunday – Go to church at Salem, enjoy a little down time with my family.
    • Monday afternoon, June 18th – Head to the Twin Cities to visit with my brother-in-law, Hal.  He’s flying out to Arizona to be with my sister, Anna on Tuesday.  We’ll miss seeing her:(  Stay with my dad in his new apartment in Minneapolis, his weekday home while he’s working at the University of Minnesota.
    • Tuesday – No plans!
    • Wednesday, June 20th – The bike racing begins!  Stage 1: St. Paul Criterium– 7:05pm, 60 minutes.
    • Thursday, June 21st – Stage 2: Road Race in Cannon Falls.  5pm start, 7:20pm expected finish.  60 miles with 4 laps of a finishing circuit downtown.
    • Friday, June 22nd – Two races today! Stage 3: St. Paul Riverfront Time Trial – 10:30am, 4.5 miles.  Stage 4: Minneapolis Downtown Classic (criterium) – 60 minutes on a 1.5 mile course.
    • Saturday, June 23rd – Stage 5: Mankato Road Race – 12 noon, 86 miles with 4 laps on a finishing circuit downtown. 
    • Sunday, June 24th – Stage 6: Stillwater Criterium (also known as "the toughest crit in the country") – 2:05pm, 60 minutes on a hilly downtown course that includes an incredibly steep hill, which they get to do over and over and over again.  I’m sure it will be almost as agonizing to watch as it will be to ride!
    • Sunday evening to Wednesday morning, June 27th – Back to my parent’s house in Shell Lake for a few days of not doing much of anything.
    • Wednesday to Thursday, June 28th –Travel home.  Not sure exactly where we’re driving when, but we aim to be home by Thursday afternoon for Analise’s ballet class at 4:30.  

    If you want a pretty cool map that I’m working on getting to be highly inclusive of all important locations and information, check out what I created in Google Maps:  Our Minnesota Bike Festival Trip.

    There’s still sort of an "if" about the race.  Brian’s waiting to hear final word, but we’re planning like he’s racing.  Should be fun!  I’m excited to watch him race with my family.  And very glad I’ll have my family with to help with both my lively kids! 

    One last link… Here’s a fun video about the Nature Valley Grand Prix race.  It’s going to be really exciting, packed with pros and experienced teams.  We’ll be sure to keep you posted here!

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    Happy 1st Birthday, Josiah

    10th June 2007

    Josiah was excited to make an authorized mess!

    Josiah eating cake was towards the end of the day … how did we get there?
    Follow the pictures and video below for the whole story of Josiah’s first birthday experience.

    Earlier in the day we picked up 15 balloons and managed to squeeze them
    all into the trunk of our car since all the seats inside were already occupied.
    Click the picture to watch a video of Josiah wandering through a balloon forest.

    We had lots of fun water activities including "fill the kiddie pool with grandma" before eating cake.

    Another game Josiah particularly enjoyed was "splash and drink the water"
    squirting from a poolside fire hydrant toy.

    All the kids enjoyed the slip and slide.

    Finally, it was time for the cakes.

    Josiah started out slow as we sang happy birthday to him. Click the picture
    to watch a video of Josiah digging into his cake and everyone singing happy birthday.

    Shortly after really starting to dig in, Josiah wiped his hand
    across his ear and face leaving a fun decorative "face painting"

    After eating the cake for a while, it was time for a bath in the pool to get cleaned up.

    Then it was time for presents. Analise was a whirlwind of help opening presents. Nobody could keep up with her!

    Kristine set out a great taco bar spread that everyone enjoyed.

    I hung a 13×19" picture of Josiah near the taco bar.

    I had people sign a "practice print" of the picture.

    Josiah’s first birthday party was lots of fun. All the kids enjoyed splashing in the water in the hot weather (the temp was in the mid 90’s).
    I think the parents enjoyed watching the kids and eating tacos, IBC root beer, and cake and ice cream. Happy 1st birthday, Josiah!

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    Wear a helmet…

    7th June 2007

    It can’t be said enough.  I’m glad Brian is incredibly diligent about wearing his helmet.  This is the perfect example of why…

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    Everday life…

    5th June 2007

    So what’s been happening around here? Just everyday life… At least Brian is checking in for both of us.  We’re really enjoying summer vacation and spending extra time together.

    It’s getting busy around here, though!  Analise has been going to the Summer Reading program at the library once a week, and her ballet class starts Thursday.  We’re getting ready for a big party this weekend.  I’ve got a baby shower to go to on Sunday.  Then we start getting ready for a couple-week long trip to Wisconsin/Minnesota, leaving a week from Friday, June 15th.  I’m pretty excited to see my family!

    Analise and I had a fun little shopping trip together this morning.  I never get to go out with just the two of us, and she was a treat.  We looked at presents for Josiah, and though she’s got HER birthday in mind, we managed to find something she could give him (actually, she said she’d "share with him".  We’ll have to work on that…).  We also found a pretty pink leotard with a silky skirt for her ballet class.  She didn’t really want to wear it for me tonight, but I finally convinced her to put it on.  It was like magic – she loved it and started dancing around like a little ballerina!  I’m really excited to see how she enjoys her class. 

    Josiah’s a little walking man, toddling all over.  He’ll only crawl if he needs to get somewhere FAST… like if he hears the bathroom door might be open, he’ll make a beeline for the toilet!  He’s tumbled more times than Analise did, and he’s got old bruises all over, and plenty on his head, poor boy.  He’s gotten VERY opinionated in just the last 2 weeks, and I think his little red-head temper is starting to grow.  When we take him away from something or do something he doesn’t like, watch out!  After trying 2 pairs of Target shoes that just didn’t fit right, I broke down and took him to $$$tride Rite to get his foot measured.  It’s no wonder we couldn’t find anything to fit him – he needs a 5-extra wide (there’s 5, then 5-wide, THEN 5-extra wide!).  Not even the sale shoes at Stride Rite came in his size!  We finally picked this cute pair of sandals that he’s tolerating pretty well. 

    The big news is that our sleeping is improving!  Josiah’s sleeping through the night about 75% of the time, though he’s waking at 5am, ready for the day to start.  I’m hoping we can move that back a little… Also on the sleep front, we moved Analise to a big bed, and she’s doing pretty well.  She’s getting up a couple times in the evening, and she’s gotten up a couple times at night.  All in all, though, I think we’re on a good trend in the sleep category!

    I spent some time last week getting both Analise and Josiah’s bedrooms all in order, after moving the big bed from his room (the guest bed) to hers, and taking down her crib.  Finally, both rooms are pretty much "set", after only 11.5 months for Josiah.  Not that he’s minded.  Here’s a peek!

    Josiah wakes up from his nap really excited about his room. 
    He’s always pointing at the letters, the maps on the wall, the fan, the pictures. 

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