Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

Spring Break wrap-up – Airplanes, Bunnies, and Mount Cheaha Family Adventure

20th March 2011

Yesterday, I decided to take the weekend off from racing to enjoy the final bit of Spring Break. We had a great adventure out at Mount Cheaha. I biked from Birmingham to Cheaha, and Kristine drove the kids out there to meet me for a short hike, dinner, and then a drive home together.

Earlier in the week, we had ridden down to the La Crosse field to try out the balsa wood airplanes that Papa Dale had sent us. After the warning in the instruction manual, we were thinking that we might need to find an abandoned run-way. The plane did take off pretty fast. Check out the video below:

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Biking adventure 2 and Rocky Ridge Boosterthon

30th October 2010

I took the kids this morning on a biking adventure through the woods, past the fire station, and arriving at our destination — the nearby Metro Church parking lot (which is enormous), and the kids enjoyed racing down one hill and then up the other one back towards me. Got some pics and video posted below. Also, on Thursday, Analise had her boosterthon at Rocky Ridge and we went over to cheer her on. Got some pics and video of that too!

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It’s Josiah’s turn on two wheels!

22nd March 2010

Well, I’m a week late on posting his huge milestone (sorry, second-child-syndrome!), but here it is!  As Analise was riding in the driveway on Monday of last week, her 2nd day on 2-wheels, Josiah begged for us to take his training wheels off, too.  We thought, what the heck… but imagined we’d be putting them right back on.  Lo and behold, I held his seat and he literally just rode away from me!  It must be in the genes!  He’s amazing to watch!  The learning curve was a bit steeper, and he wasn’t as quick to catch on to braking.  But now he’s got it down.  He still can’t get himself started, but we’re getting there.  He pedals so fast on his little wheels!  I love watching both of them ride!  We rode tons last week during Spring Break!  More videos forthcoming, but these two are great to start with, Josiah’s first ride and my pro girl, Analise, on her 2nd day.

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Awesome day at the races!

14th March 2010

What a day!

On the outside, it didn’t look very promising. 40’s and intermittent drizzle, at a 2.5 hr bike race. But we took warm clothes and rain boots, as well as the kids bikes, with us to Guntersville. Over the course of waiting for Brian to come around for each of his 4 laps, the kids rode and played on the damp playground.  Despite my warnings, they ended up sliding down a slide into a puddle, and Analise was completely wet. Of course, I’d packed lightly, with no extra clothes for anyone. She had to change into Brian’s cycling tights, vest, and rain boots, and she shivered the rest of the day. Then,  Josiah told me too late he had to go to the bathroom. Damp and chilled, I wasn’t impressed with the state of the day halfway through the race!

We’ve been talking it up for a while, and so Analise asked me to to take her training wheels off and help her ride. And so we did…

At the end of the day, my sweet girl can ride a 2-wheel bike without training wheels by herself… and even stop! And Brian won the race! The soft rainbow we saw summed up the day!

A few more pictures…

Learning to get on and start by herself (a work in progress)

Blurry, but the most obvious photo of riding on her own.

Josiah tears around on his little bike, over gravel and grates, flying around the corners, coming at you full-speed, and screeching to a halt. And of course, he is asking for me to take off his training wheels, too. Man oh man, can the world handle 3 Toones on 2-wheeled bikes? Watch out!

A few iPhone pictures that didn’t resize right… Email me if you want a larger version!

Brian's on the right... His teammate, Sammy, is an amazing sprinter. Brian led him out in the sprint, but when Sammy looked back and seen they had a big gap, he sat up, and Brian stayed in front. A Tria 1-2!

The promise of a good day 🙂

Exhausted after a hard day of riding... and working hard on falling asleep without sucking her thumb. All these milestones!

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Epic Cycling!

7th March 2010

Brian raced the 100-mile Rouge Roubaix in Louisiana today. This epic race models itself after the famous Paris-Roubaix spring classic race in France with mile after mile of cobblestones, and the local version includes 20 miles of gravel. No, I’m not sure why anyone would want to race on roads like that, but that’s another post for another time.

Anyway, I just got a brief text/phone update from him, so I don’t have all the details. But it appears he finished pretty well, maybe 12th. His teammate, Mike, was in the first group just ahead of Brian, and finished in the top 6. Yeah, Tria Cycling!

Almost even more exciting for Brian, this 3ft printed version of his beautiful colored TopoCreator map of the race course was on display at the race! He’s been working on for a long, long time, and the website is so close to going live. I’m really excited to see such a great response to all his super hard work.

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Thanksgiving Videos and Pictures

26th November 2009

We made a make-shift velodrome out of the leaves in our driveway — although our velodrome also had a Nascar style pit row.

Today we asked Josiah to say our Thanksgiving blessing. I was hoping to get a video of him with his eyes shut really tight the way he normally prays but I think the video camera was a distraction.

Also here is a couple pictures from our biking adventure around a running track near our house. The kids had played all day at Grandma’s house after biking in our driveway in the morning. They were tired and ready for bed early!

Biking on the track - Analise usually led the way but we had just turned around to bike back towards mommy!

Analise was tired and would stop every few minutes to rest

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Tour of Elk Grove

1st August 2009

Hey Everyone – we’re still alive and getting near the end of our trip. Right now we’re visiting friends and family in Chicago and northern Indiana while I’m racing the Tour of Elk Grove. Read all about it on my cycling blog …

Here’s the map of our trip thus far … only one more leg to go after the race this weekend — back to sweet home Alabama!

2009 summer working vacation

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And we’re off!

7th July 2009

The Annual Toone Family Summer Road Trip starts tomorrow at 9am (hopefully!).  This one will be quite an adventure!  We’re heading west… seeing lots and lots of family and old friends along the way, doing lots of bike races (well, actually only 2 different but those two will consist of 9 total stages!)  I’ve got lots more chatter now that I’m actually sitting here blogging instead of writing a blog post in my head in the shower (rarely, rarely do those creative, inspiring posts make it to the computer!), but, alas, it’s 10:30 and I’ve got to get some sleep tonight so I’ll be patient and cheerful when my kids are bored and making me crazy on the 8 1/2 hour leg of the journey tomorrow.

Here’s the run-down (mileage/time according to Google Maps.  You can see the rudimentary journey here or I’ve inserted the actual map at the bottom…

  • Wednesday,  July 8th – Birmingham to Van, Texas (565 mi, 8 1/2 hrs); Staying with friends from Mercy Ships Nicaragua.  Hanging out at Mercy Ships and reconnecting on Thursday.
  • Friday, July 10th – Van, TX to Carlsbad, NM (538 mi, 9 1/2 hrs); With a super early departure and good traveling graces, we’re hoping to catch the sunset event of the bats leaving the Carlsbad Caverns and a short visit to the caves in the morning.
  • Saturday, July 11th – Carlsbad, NM to Flagstaff, AZ (624 mi, 10 1/4 hrs);  This will be a long day, staying with my cousin, his wife and their 2 girls.  Brian is excited to sleep “at altitude” for a night, as this will surely this will give him a competitive edge in 10 days when he races.  (It’s ok for my exercise scientist sisters to laugh.  I’m letting him believe it for the mental competitive edge!)
  • Sunday, July 12th – Flagstaff, AZ to Las Vegas (262 miles, 4 1/4 hrs).  Brian’s going to ride with my cousin before we leave Flagstaff, we’ll make a short visit to the Grand Canyon just an hour north, before heading out on the shortest leg of our entire journey.
  • Sunday, July 12th to Wednesday, July 15th – Staying at the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas while Brian presents at a conference.  Awfully excited to just hang out at our nice hotel that has a wave pool and a lazy river, along with 2 pools.  Sweet!  Who knows what else we’ll do in Las Vegas?  Any free-cheap suggestions welcome…
  • Wednesday, July 15th – Las Vegas, NV to Davis, CA (584 mi; 9 hrs); Arriving in our old hometown of Davis, the start of our lives as a family of 2 and of 3!  Analise is so excited to see where she was born.  We’re so excited to go back and see all our old friends.
  • Wednesday, July 15th to Monday, July 20th – Staying with the Hafflys.  Woohoo!
  • Monday, July 20th – Davis, CA to Bend, OR (429 mi, 7 1/2 hrs).  A gorgeous drive.  Staying at a super-nice hotel on Monday night, after we bid $40 on Priceline… our bid was accepted and upgraded.  Sweet!
  • Tuesday, July 21st to Sunday, July 26th – Staying at a townhouse in Bend with my family, my aunt/uncle, cousin/wife/2 little girls (from Flagstaff!), my sister/brother-in-law.  A mini-family reunion!  Brian’s racing in the Cascades Cycling Classic.  It’s a BIG race, and it will be quite an adventure to cheer him on through the tough, pro race.   6 different stages, lots of climbing, a very strong field.  By the way, I tweet live updates of his racing @ToonesFanClub, in case you want to follow what’s happening!
  • Sunday, July 26th –  Bend, OR to Fort Collins, CO (1,065mi, 16 1/2 hrs). We’ll start heading east after the bike race ends mid afternoon, hopefully make it to Salt Lake City.
  • Monday, July 27th – Fort Collins, CO. Staying with a friend from UW-Green Bay.
  • Tuesday, July 28th – Fort Collins, CO to Denver, CO (60 mi, 1 hr). Actually THIS will be the shortest leg of the journey.  Visiting my sweet sister, Kat, seeing whatever she wants to show us of her new hometown.
  • Wednesday, July 29th or Thursday, July 30th – Denver, CO to Aurora, IL (967 mi, 14 hrs).
  • Thursday, July 30th to Sunday, August 2nd – Aurora/Elk Grove, IL – Staying with another UW-Green Bay friend, visiting dear friends, while Brian races in the Tour of Elk Grove Friday to Sunday.
  • Sunday, August 2nd – Elk Grove, IL to La Porte, IN  (104 mi, 2hrs); Staying with my Grandma and visiting her until mid-day Monday.
  • Monday, August 3rd – La Porte, IN to Birmingham, AL (627 mi, 10 1/2 hrs).  A stretch of road we’ve driven many, many times.  Straight down I-65, this will bring us home again after nearly 3 1/2 weeks.

What a crazy adventure!  Look for updates from my iPhone… If you’re on our route, we can’t wait to see you!  If you’re not… feel free to come on over to our route at any point… we’ll work you in!
View Out West – July, 2009 in a larger map

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The past month in bullets and links

8th May 2009

Ok, I apologize from disappearing from the blog.  Whew.  This past month has totally gotten away from me.  Let me summarize it in bullet-form, and maybe I can get quickly caught up so I can blog some other fun things from the more recent past!

  • I got bronchitis in mid-April, and I’m just finally now feeling like I’m not coughing.  Ug.  I hate it, and believe me, Brian hates it too, but hopefully I’ve turned the corner…
  • I flew to Indiana for my grandpa Charlie’s funeral.  It was a whirlwind of planning to get ready to leave Brian and the kids for 4 days, but it came together really well, and they did wonderfully without me.  It was a great time of celebrating Charlie’s long, friend-and-family filled life, and being with my family.
  • I’ve been super busy winding up the year with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers).  I’m on the Steering (leadership) Team, and I was a part of the committee who chose the leadership positions for next year.
  • Brian’s been racing LOTS – and racing REALLY well!  If you haven’t checked out his blog, head on over there.  It’s got exciting race reports, interesting data from the races, and the occasional photo. (TIP! If you want to subscribe to a blog, click on the little icon at the end of the address bar of your browser!  Feel free to subscribe to us and Brian’s blog!)  Highlights below…
  • We traveled to Athens, Georgia, staying with friends for the Athens Twilight Criterium, one of the fastest, craziest races in the country.  180 racers, most of them pros.  His goal was to finish for the first time ever, and instead he was in a late-race breakaway that made me CRAZY excited even though it got caught with just a few laps to go, and he finished 27th.  WOOHOO!
  • Wayne and Jane Lunceford were awesome hosts, and Jane even kept the kids so Wayne and I could go to Brian’s 9pm race.  This is the 2nd year we’ve stayed with them, and we’re already looking forward to next year!  Analise had so much fun meeting her friend, Heather.  They bounced and bungy-bounced, rode bikes, had a princess tea party, and shared a bedroom.  Josiah was mesmerized by the older boys’ Lego collection.  Oh and he rode alot too, including into the wading pool… I’ve got a photo somewhere…
  • We visited Athens Church with the Luncefords, a strategic partner with North Point Community Church.  We heard a great message by Pastor Andy Stanley called “It’s Personal-Undeniable“.  (I think you could also find it on iTunes, if you search Andy Stanley’s messages.  Seriously, I highly reccommend it.).  He’s a great speaker and the message had some very good thoughts.
  • Ended up that weekend in Roswell, GA with a trip to Trader Joe’s (WOOHOO!), the first visit inbout 6 months.  Brian had to replace a cracked handlebar from the Saturday Athens’ race, and he trudged through another pro-stacked field in Roswell to a 38th place finish.
  • The next weekend (last weekend) was a wonderful weekend away for us, compliments of my lovely mother-in-law.  The kids were so excited to spend the weekend (Sat and Sun nights) with the Toones, while Brian and I headed to races in Anniston and Sandy Springs, GA.  The Anniston Sunny King Criterium was an AWESOME race for Brian.  Again, a loaded pro field, and he raced hard, stayed near the front, and worked his way into good position for the sprint to finish 17th!  They had a VIP dinner for the racers afterwards, and we relaxed and ate well while chatting with the many pros.
  • We made it to our Priceline hotel in Atlanta (a Marriot) at 1:30am Sunday morning, but slept in until nearly 10.  Ah, the joy… Seriously, just an occasional weekend away with my husband is such a treat.  Quiet breakfast for 2 at IHOP, relaxing at Starbucks before the race, a leisurely stroll around Trader Joe’s (again 🙂 ), and the pleasure of watching 2 whole races by myself.  We both enjoy having the kids with us at races – and they have fun! – but it’s nice to take a little of the stress off both of us while Brian’s getting ready to race.  And I can even manage to take photos instead of keeping the kids from dashing onto the race course.  In a crash-filled race, I was very happy he finished upright and unhurt, but he even managed at top-30 finish.  Woohoo!  Brian can hold his own with the pros :), AND be “in the money” for 2 big races!
  • This week has been busy with a Mother’s Day Luncheon at Analise’s preschool, registering her for kindergarten (!!!!?!!!), a Kindergarten Kickoff visit/informational session, a Women’s Banquet for me, Brian’s student presentations, and an end-of-the-year picnic at Samford.
  • Josiah has been coming into our room and snuggling in bed with us after his early-ish wake-up, and this morning he said, “My tummy has a headache”.  Hm.  Brian and I both thought he was just hungry, but when we were at the playground before our grocery store run, he got sick.  Ug.  I’ll spare you the details, but I really hope it’s a short-lived bug that doesn’t dampen our Mother’s Day weekend.  Nothing special planned, except a bday party tomorrow, church Sunday, and lunch here (taco soup and homemade chocolate cheesecake).
  • Oh, and we’ve been diligently been watching Lost, discussing our theories and anticipating the season finale next week.  What a crazy, addicting show!

Ok, I hope I’m about caught up!  Be back soon with a post I’ve been wanting to write for about a month now…

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Kids, bikes and a glorious spring day!

13th April 2009

On the start line with the big kids!

On the start line with the big kids!

Grandma was so patient and supervised the endless riding...

Grandma was so patient and supervised the endless riding...

My kids are so fast their helmets are always askew!

My kids are so fast their helmets are always askew!

With his sleek sunglasses and his concentrated look, he is a mini-Brian.

With his sleek sunglasses and his concentrated look, he is a mini-Brian.




He rode so hard he wore a hole in his tire, and he was determined he could fix it himself!

He rode so hard he wore a hole in his tire, and he was determined he could fix it himself!

Heather made the girls flower necklaces!

Heather made the girls flower necklaces!



Lauren and Anna's daddy, Lennie, in the winning break of his race.

Lauren and Anna's daddy, Lennie, in the winning break of his race.

Lauren jumping for joy as her daddy, Lennie, wins the race!

Lauren jumping for joy as her daddy, Lennie, wins the race!

The story of Brian's race... attack, get pulled back, attack again, get pulled back.  He was a marked man.

The story of Brian's race... attack, get pulled back, attack again, get pulled back. He was a marked man.

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