Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

Halloween is our favorite time of the year. This year Madison (9) did not want to get a costume or go trick-or-treating! She wanted to stay home and pass out candy. Shayna finally talked her into putting on a Tinkerbell costume that Aunt Trish made for Shayna last year. The top did not fit her so she wore the skirt and shoes with a Tinkerbell t-shirt. Shayna also did her hair and make up for her.

Shayna (14) was a cat, and unlike her sister she wanted to go out trick-or-treating but settled for passing out candy and watching a movie on the Disney Channel with us.

The girls got pretty creative with their pumpkins.

Shayna did a "Pumpkin Pie" Since she is in Geometry she thinks that is funny. Must be a math thing...

Madison did "Bob" the pumpkin. Neither one used a pattern, they did it old school. I baked up the seeds and we snacked on them.

The girls also decorated cookies this year, they were very meticulous about it too. Everything is always a competition between the girls. When Shayna got home and saw how good Madison did on her cookies she knew she had to step up her game a bit.

Next year it is Disneyland for Halloween, we can't wait!
Nevada Day

Every other year we go to Disneyland on the Nevada Day weekend. This was one of the years were were at home so we decided to go to the parade. Madison and I had never been but Brent was born and raised in Reno so he has been to many a parade. This photo was taken on our way to the parade in our neighborhood.

This year our nephew Brennan was in the parade as a member of the Color Guard for his high school. He is on the far left of this photo. Doesn't he look handsome, we are very proud of him.

Madison had a great time at the parade, she especially liked that people gave her candy and balloons. She and her cousin Anjeanette sat in the street o keep warm since that was where the sunsine was. We had to rush her to soccer practice afterwards so she was certainly pooped that night.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Kings Canyon - 10/22/2006

A couple of Sunday's ago Sandie and I took our Chili Dog for a MTB ride up Kings Canyon. It is a long gradual climb from Carson City to Spooner Summit with beautiful views especially in the fall with all at the leaves changing color. The hardest part of the ride is climbing without much of a warm up. You are about a mile and a half into the climb before your body realizes it can do this.

The last time we did this ride was shortly after we met in 2000. We did a "shuttle" ride where we left one car in Carson and drove up to the summit. After the ride we arrived at the bottom and realized the keys for the car in Carson were in the car at Spooner Summit. We had to ride from the base of the trail to my house in Carson to get my other car at which point Sandie swore I was trying to kill her. In her defense it was her first MTB ride ever. This time however, she did the 9 mile climb with no complaints and probably could have kept going if we did not have the dog to worry about.

Chili Dog was a trooper as usual, even after we almost killed him earlier this summer on the Flume Trail. That was 27 miles, which is too much even for our bad ass dog. After that ride we decided that 15 miles is probably his limit. This ride was slightly over that at just over 18 but he was in much better physical shape this time around. He loved to drink the fresh water from the streams which seemed to give him magical bursts of energy. When I would stop to take pictures or give him a drink from my bottle, he would get impatient because his mamma kept going without him out of sight. So he would run between us keeping an eye on both of us making sure we stayed together. It must be the Shepherd in him.

You can find great trail maps and descriptions at Great Basin Bicycles Here is what they say about this ride:

Kings Canyon Climb (Blue Trail)
19 Miles - 3000 Feet of Climbing (Intermediate)

From Reno, take Hwy 395 south to Carson City. Once in Carson City, take a right on Winnie Ln. Follow Winnie Ln. to Mountain St. take a left then follow to King Street. Take a right on King Street and follow the road until it turns to dirt. Park at the end of the pavement, and start your ride here. Follow the dirt road for 2.6 miles where your will have completed the worst part of the climb. This section is loose, rocky, and steep, but once completed, the rest of the ride is beautiful. Once at the top of the climb, you will see a road coming in on your left. This road takes you downhill into private property and will dump you out ½ way up Highway 50. Continue strait heading west. The rest of the ride is very strait forward. There are no other road intersections into this jeep road. So, all you have to do is ride to the top. Follow this jeep road up and down for 6.9 miles (9.5 miles from the start) where it will drop you out on the top of Highway 50 Spooner Summit. Now just turn around and ride back down to the car. Be careful on the last 2.6 miles. This ride should take the intermediate rider 2 – 2.5 hours to complete.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Fall Harvest

Last summer we built an enclosed garden in our backyard just off the kitchen.
It is our white picket fence.

We had to enclose it because the container garden on our patio was being raided by the dog. He apparently likes to eat chile peppers. At that time, since it was near the end of the growing season we just transferred our container garden to the new garden.

This year we planted all sorts of fun stuff although due to soccer, we got a bit of a late start at the end of June. We planted three varieties of tomato, asparagus, kohlrabi, corn, watermelon, leeks, three varieties chile peppers, and cucumber. The front right hand corner as you walk into the garden was an herb garden with two varieties of basil, lemon thyme, stevia, and garlic chives. The herbs did the best, and the Thai chile peppers. The corn never matured and just dried up and died. The watermelon went crazy taking over the space but the one that I harvested was not quite ripe. Madison’s favorite thing was the kohlrabi.

A couple of weeks ago we harvested as much as we could since the weather has been getting quite cool in the evenings. Last Sunday I made potato leek soup for our after ride meal, it was good but could have been better – next time I will do things a little differently.

Fall is my favorite time of year.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Room with a View

Ok, so I have said before how boring my job is but here is one of the reasons I am still here 4.5 years later...I have a view of the park. In the fall the leaves on the cottonwoods are amazingly beautiful.

In the winter, the snow is breathtaking. There are geese that land there and then make a formation to take off like it were an airport. Sometimes the sheriff dept. drives through the park to break up fights at the skate park. We have seen Care Flight land there. There are guys that fly remote control airplanes. There is even a group of people that practice using a parachute. Field trips stop there and let the kids out to play. The motorcycle cops have a contest where they go through a course of cones and occasionally they dump their bikes. The carnival comes twice a year that is always fun to watch them set up. The high school track team runs through barefoot several times a week. Once a year a blackhawk lands there for the sheriff dept. annual safety education festival. There is a farmers market in the summer and latch key summer camp. Sometimes I even get to see Madison at camp if they are doing an activity on the grass. There is also a train that goes around the park. We had the special treat of band camp meeting at the park and practicing their drums - our windows are thin so we could hear them very well.

There is never a dull moment at Mills Park.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

My 1st Quilt

Last spring break I went to a quilting class with my cousin. Her name is Anjeanette. Anjeanette and I took the class together because sewing is our favorite thing to do,besides soccer and basketball. Anjeanette and I play sports. It was fun because I worked on my quilt to give to my mom,because it was going to be a present for her.

Stingers Season Comes to an End
7 Losses, 2 Ties, 2 Wins

We had our final game of the season yesterday followed by our end of season party. It was a pool party hosted by one of the girls grandparents. We had pizza, chips, and the coolest looking cake. The parents presented me with a certificate of appreciation, a long sleeved t-shirt with our team name, and a gift certificate for a local athletic shoe store. It was wonderful to have that much recognition for my work this season.

Soccer has a way of coming into your life completely taking over your time and then just as soon as you get used to it, it is over and you miss it.

This season was one of the best so far for me as a coach. Every year I am so frustrated by the time the season is over that I swear that I will never do it again and somehow I end up changing my mind. This year it was Madison, she insisted that I coach her again and how could I refuse? Her face just lights up when she tells people she plays soccer and her mom is her coach. In the spring she plays competitive soccer for the Patriots, I have been recruited to join the coaching staff this spring and am looking forward to doing my part to make it a wonderful season for our girls.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

PETA Alert!

My job is pretty dull but I do have a 2nd floor corner office overlooking a park and I get paid pretty well so there is that. I do not however have this 2nd floor corner office to myself. I have an office mate named Jared. Jared and I have been office mates for about 2 years now and get along rather well almost all of the time.

Jared had been out a couple of days in the past couple of weeks so one of our other coworkers decided he must be clinically depressed. She is a nurse, we work with a lot of nurses and social workers. Based on her diagnosis I decided to take matters into my own hands and cheer him up a bit. So last week I brought in two Siamese fighting fish or Betta splendens for our office. One for his desk, and one for mine. I used small glass vases as many people do to house our new pets.

Well my gesture of niceness has turned into the betta fish wars! Jared went out over the weekend and bought his fish a nice 3 gallon habitat complete with an exact replica of a real bonsai tree. My fish is still in his original cramped vase. Now everyone who comes into our office scoffs me for torturing my fish and praises Jared for his fish parenting skills. His next mission is to adopt a 9 year old girls and I quote "do a better job as a parent"

By the way, Jared is not clinically depressed he just owes the IRS a lot of money so he was "working on that" while he was gone. I do not want to know what that means.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Ruybalid - Williams Mountain Bike Ride
Mt. Rose Meadows to Ash Canyon via the Tahoe Rim Trail

On Sunday (from the left) Brent, me, Kathy, and Mike (Williams) went on a ride. The weather was gorgeous with a bit of a nip in the air but it was ok since I did not shave my legs that day I had some extra insulation. We drove up to Mount Rose Meadows and parked Mike's truck and then rode from there through the meadow where I immediately got my crash out of the way. I half way flew over the bars but managed to recover. My front tire got stuck in a rut in the water and the bike stuck and I continued to go forward. We continued and I was feeling like a complete chicken for the first 45 minutes due to my crash.

This was Brent's first big ride on the new bike (2006 Specialized Stumpy Expert) and his Fox rear shock froze in the beginning of the ride. He was bummed. He locked it out but it was still flexing and bottoming out. No worries, it is under warranty and it has already been sent overnight to be fixed and is supposed to be back by to him this week. I got my new Stumpy in May so we are set for next riding season for sure and we have big plans although we will continue to ride all winter as much as possible. He got his crash out of the way about an hour in. He was attempting a step up and because of the shock went over the side and landed head first in a hole surrounded by some boulders with his bike on top of him. He was screaming "get my bike!" So we rescued his bike and he crawled out of the hole. His leg is a bit swollen and his knee hurts but he and more importantly the bike is ok and he did not smash his face in.

The climb is not bad at all but pretty technical with lots of rocks and step ups. Kathy was great teaching me how to maneuver them and I did clear a couple but walked up the scary ones. The decent into Hobart is awesome with more shelves and steps and single track. The trees have just started to change and looked like they were glowing.

The views from the ridges were also incredible. In the first clearing we could see Washoe Lake and part of Carson City to the left and Lake Tahoe to the right. We were also right next to the top of Diamond Peak for part of the ride. Our decent into Carson was really fun too. There are these water shelves that you ride up to and if you let off your brakes as soon as you approach them it launches you into the air a bit. You have to hit the brakes again immediately to avoid sudden death. It was a blast. Mikes disc brakes were so hot when he pored water on them it created steam.

Once we arrived back at the Williams' place Kathy made us all latte's which were very yummy.

It was a great day spent with some pretty great people and we can't wait to do it again.

Tahoe Rim Trail

Read more here at The Facility Bike Club

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Homecoming Dance 2006

Tonight is the homecoming dance at Shayna's school. She and her friend Alexis decided they did not need any stinking boys and went to the dance together. Aren't they just pretty?
The First Day of School August 24, 2006

Shayna is in her first year of high school this year and Madison is in the 4th grade. Shayna's first day was pretty rough since her purse was stolen so she lost her pink Slvr cell phone and all the paperwork she was given that day. She is playing on the JV soccer team and they are undefeated so far with only 5 games left in the season. They are unstopable and she really likes her coach. She is taking honors english, advanced math (geometry), Spanish, and digital video.

Madison has joined the chess club and is also playing soccer this fall with me as her coach and Brent as the ref. Our team is called the Stingers and we are 3-6-2 with one game left in the season. Madison is reading at a 5th grade level and also loves math. On Friday, she got into a physical fight on the playground (she was defending a friend) at lunch recess and has 3 days of detention as a result. The funny part is that it was picture day so she was wearing a nice button up cardigan sweater and pleated skirt with dress shoes. She is a walking contradiction.
Chile Roast & Waterworld Concord, Ca. Labor Day 2006

This year the chile roast was in Concord at Aunt Stella's house. The weather was perfect and the food was wonderful. After the chile's were all roasted on our way out of town we suprised the girls with a trip to Waterworld for the day.

Brent and I wanted to relax and enjoy the day in some peace and quiet so we rented a cabana for the day. It was nice they would take your food order and go all around the park collecting the items for you. Even Dip-n-Dots and beer!

The girls had a great time. Madison got a bit scared on the rafting ride because she thought we were going to flip over and land on her and she took a spill in the wave pool and scraped her elbow. I think we all liked the lazy river ride the best and everyone even fell asleep on it.
Huntington Beach - July 2006

We had such a nice time last summer with Uncle Vic and Aunt Sharon that we decided to come back again this year. My dad joined us too, it was nice. He even went with us to Knotts Berry Farm and sat on all the benches with me while Brent, Shayna, and Madison rode the rides. Madison's favorite part was when Grandpa took her on the Ghost Rider - quite possibly the worst roller coaster on the planet. We all needed chiropractic adjustments after that one!

Uncle Vic and Aunt Sharon got a new driveway a couple of weeks before our arrival so no one was allowed to drive, park, or even look at the concrete. He spent much of the time moving cones, hosing down, and sweeping his new investement. When we went to Knotts Berry Farm we brought him back a miniture cone that said No Parking to remember our stay there.

This year we brought our beach cruisers so we could ride our bikes to and from the beach. We even rode on the night of the fireworks. They close PCH to car traffic so we got to ride on the road with hundreds of other bikes and people on foot. Once again the fireworks were amazing, best in the West.

We hope they enjoy having us as much as we enjoy being there. I guess we will find out next year if they invite us again.
Our Best Vacation Ever

In June of 2005 we took our first cruise. In celebration of Disneylands 50th anniversary the Disney Magic was brought over from the east coast to the west coast for the summer to cruise for 7 days from LA to the Mexican Riveria. Since I am not big on flying and we always wanted to do a Disney cruise, I sent off for a DVD. That was in the spring of 2004. Once the DVD arrived and we decided we were for sure going to do this we started saving, and saving, and saving. It took an entire year to save the money to pay for this adventure - all in all it cost us over $12,000 for this trip. It was nice to have the boat all paid for by the time we set foot on it though. Whoever said money can't buy happiness has never been on a Disney cruise.

The ship was amazing. They had a teen club and a club for kids Madison's age. We never really saw much of Shayna other than dinner every night. Madison stayed a bit closer to us but did have a disco party night with black lights. We went on a tour of the jungle in Puerto Viarta and snorkled in Cabo and spent the day at a beach resort in Mazatlan.
When we arrived back in America we stayed on at my Aunt Sharon and Uncle Vics house in Huntington Beach for the 4th of July. The fireworks are amazing, they shoot them right off of the Main Street pier over the ocean. It was an awesome end to the perfect vacation. We even went back this summer to celebrate the 4th with them. Here is a video of just a small portion of the fireworks that night...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Benjamin Leo Ruybalid
September 23, 1915 - September 21, 2006

Our family recently lost a very important member and he will be dearly missed. This photo was from his 90th birthday party/Ruybalid Family Chile Roast in Reno. He passed away very quickly and without pain. He was just shy of his 91st birthday which we were all looking forward to celebrating. We have a 1950's Westinghouse beer fridge in our garage with a tap in the door because Brent always wanted one just like his grampa's. It even has his tap handle on it.

Here is the obituary that he actually wrote himself:
Benjamin Leo Ruybalid, 90, passed away September 21, 2006 at St. Mary's Regional Medical Center. He was born September 23, 1915 in Canyon, CO to Frank and Deluvina Ruybalid. He was raised on a farm and went to school at Las Mesitas and graduated in 1934. He married Sadie Suazo in November 1935, and continued working and living on the family farm. Ben and Sadie had five children, Evelyn, Richard, Ben Jr., Edwin and Louise. When he left the farm, Ben went to work for Contructor when they were building Camp Carson and Camp Hale in western Colorado. Then he went to work at Los Alamos, NM when Contructor was building the Lab and housing for the people that developed the Atom Bomb. Ben served in the Navy and was honorably discharged in December 1945. He then went to work for the Government Bureau of Reclamation and was transferred to Grand Island, NE in 1947, then Hastings, NE. In 1954 he was transferred to the Ammunition Depot in Hawthorne, NV. In 1958 he went to work for the Corps of Engineers at the White Sands Missile Range near Las Cruces, NM during the Missile Sites construction. He also worked in Roswell, NM during the Atlas Missile Silo construction then back to White Sands during the building of the NASA project. He retired in 1976. During the years he worked for the Corp of Engineers he was sent to several Concrete Construction Seminars in Wichita Falls, TX (1960), Atlanta, GA (1967), San Francisco, CA (1972), and Vicksburg, MO (1973). Since he had attended the seminars and worked at the missile sites, he was advised to apply for certification to the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies. He applied and was certified as a Materials Engineering Technician. Ben and Sadie moved to Reno in 1985 to be near their children. Ben was preceded in death by his wife, sons Richard and Ed, his parents, five brothers and one sister. Ben is survived by his daughters, Evelyn Ruybalid of Reno and Louise Briggs (Earl) of Sparks, his son Ben Jr., (Shirley) of Reno, daughters-in-law Alice Ruybalid of Reno and Lydia Ruybalid of Las Cruces, NM. Also surviving him are sister Susanna Coker of Fountain, CO; brother Ruben Ruybalid (Carol) of Central City, NE; twelve grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
Chili-Dog Present Day

Here is the big boy he has grown up to be. He is about 5' tall standing on his hind legs and weighs in at 75 pounds. He is an awesome mountian biking companion and a great soccer dog too.

Yes, he is allowed on the couch and pretty much every other place he pleases.
Our Baby Boy

In January of 2004 we (Brent) decided that we had to have a dog. I did much research on breeds and came to the conclusion that we wanted an Australian Shepherd mix. I was a runner at that time and wanted a companion but we also like to watch movies and lay around on occasion. We found an Aussie rescue in Gardnerville and headed there to check out the litter. We decided on one that they named Sarge because he was the boss of the litter and even paper trained all the pups. He was bigger than the rest of the puppies but had the best disposition. He would walk away from a fight with the other litter mates and was just a happy puppy. We took him home and named him Chili-Dog. We can not imagine our lives without him.

This picture is from the day we brought him home. A more recent picture will follow where you can clearly see -- he is not an Aussie but we love him anyway. Our best guess is a German Shepherd and Lab mix because he is protective and loves to swim.

If you are looking for a pet please consider adoption. A great resource can be found at Petfinder.com

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Walk Your Child to School Day

Today I decided to get a jump start on walking my children to school. The official day is tomorrow but today, a day when I might actually be on time to work, I could not find my car keys. I went to get the spare car keys and they too were gone...in Brent's pocket at his work in Dayton a mere 20 miles and 30 minutes away.

So, the girls and I walked 2 miles to my work, Shayna's school, and Madison's latch key. Luckily, they are all in the same vicinity. Madison only cried for part of the time, she was a real trooper carrying her eggo waffle and hot chocolate the entire way.

More about Walk to School here.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Welcome to our family....
The Ruybalid family was created on September 21, 2002 when Brent (Ruybalid) and I got married and blended our families.

I have a daughter named Madison who is now 9 and he has a daughter, Shayna, who is 14. Our wedding was amazing. I marched to the theme from The Princess Bride, and the ceremony was performed by our cousin Robin who got ordained just so she could marry us. The venue was the Bartles family ranch in Genoa which is owned by Brent's mom and her three sisters. We had BBQ, a salsa bar, and a margaritta machine.
I figured since we just celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary it may be time to start a blog of our family's adventures. Stay tuned...