Saturday, October 31, 2009

Josh is 6!

Josh got to celebrate his birthday a few days early this year! The Saturday before his actual birthday, we had two families over to cook hotdogs and marshmallows over a bonfire. We decided not to do parties this year, so this was just a low-key birthday dinner.

It was a fun night and a great chance to get to visit with the Stephensons and McCallums!

On Josh's actual birthday, the other kids had a special birthday breakfast for him, complete with decorations.
I can't believe my baby is 6!!!

For dinner, Josh chose Granny's Mac N Cheese with those little beef sausages. Mmmm... healthy, I know... but it's a birthday dinner!
For dessert- Dirt cake- Complete with gummy worms!

Random Pics

Instead of posting about the final week of cross country drama, I am making a decision to post some random pictures of life in Keownville... and NOT share details of, well, drama. Yes, this is my 6 year old wielding an axe.

Will trying his hand at wood splitting

"Mom- what does it look like when we squish our faces up on the car window?"
"Go do it, and I will show you!"
Yes, our dog is wearing a sweater. She actually likes it!

Mom: Josh, who conquered the Aztecs?
Josh: (With great gusto, confidence, and feeling) CHARLEMAGNE!!!
Mom: Uh, no... that was 700 years before... CORTES conquered the Aztecs!

Open House

The next week, (which was already the first week of October!) I had scheduled for us to take a fall break. My mom was having an open house at her home the next Saturday, Oct. 10th. I agreed to have a little "booth" and sell aprons and baked goods. While the kids were doing chores and working on some handiwork of their own, I was busy sewing those aprons!

I made my whole wheat bread, pumpkin butterscotch bread, granola, and Emily Burleson's molasses cookies to sell. (I will post the recipes at the bottom!)

In the cross country realm (I think we could seriously have a decent TV mini-series!), we had planned to take the week off. However, the Tupelo team was having a race, and the coach invited us to participate! (Pretty major, b/c he has never really been willing to include us in anything before.) We planned on everyone running in the open division 5K, but Coach Hall said it would be better and cheaper for us to run in the small school division! Hot dog, can you believe it! After getting everyone geared up to run, I get another one of those phone calls....

Yup, you guessed it... un-invited again! Rats! We went back to our original plan of running the open 5K.

Thursday after practice, the kids and I headed to Memphis. In true procrastinator fashion, I still had to stay up and finish quite a few things! On Friday morning we got everything all set up and opened for business!

Ok... we were still waiting... customers could come any time now... Just kidding! Friday was pretty slow, but it was still a fun day! On Friday night, my parents took us to Cracker Barrel. We dropped off Sarah, Will, and Josh at Scott's dad's house. The younger three unanimously chose going to the barn to see horses over staying for another day of "Open House."

On Saturday AM, I headed to Tupelo (about 4:30) for the Tupelo Invitational. Hannah opted out of running and chose to stay behind and man my booth until I returned! It turned out to be a good thing... she is a good salesperson!

The Spartans all ran very well, and I had the opportunity to give the Corinth Coach his plaque. He was very gracious and understood that it was just a misunderstanding.

On the way back to Memphis, Emily Burleson and her older girls piled in for a day trip! Senorita Minnick also made the trip to shop and hang out. Saturday was much more profitable than Friday! I sold almost all of my bread and quite a few aprons! When the afternoon was through, we went to eat some Mexican, pick up the kids from the Duleys, and head back to Mississippi.

Here are some pictures from the open house:aprons, aprons, aprons!

Part of my mom's booth

My sister makes neat custom shields with coats of arms

Hannah made coasters, and sarah stitched pot holders

Pumpkin and wheat bread! I was glad there weren't too many leftovers!

(makes 3 loaves or 6 mini loaves)
31/2 c. AP flour
2tsp. soda
1tsp. salt
1tsp. cinnamon
1tsp. nutmeg
3c. sugar

1c. oil
4 eggs
2/3 c. water
2c. or 1 can pumpkin

1 bag butterscotch chips

Sift dry ingredients. In large bowl, mix wet ingredients until smooth. Add dry ingredients and bag of chips. Bake @ 35o for 70 minutes (large loaves) or 45 minutes (mini loaves)

5 cups oats- quick or original
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 dry milk
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Melt oil, honey, and brown sugar on stovetop. Add to oats, dry milk, and cinnamon. Spread on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes. Stir and cook 5-10 minutes longer. Add raisins, toasted nuts, coconut, etc. Cute layered in a jar as a gift!

3/4 c. butter
1c. sugar
1 egg
1/4 c. sorgham
2Tbsp milk
1tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 t. soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 tsp. salt

Chill dough 1 hour. Form tsp. size small balls of dough. Roll in sugar. Bake @350 10-14 minutes. Cookies will be very soft- immediately transfer to a cool surface.

MC Invitational

Varsity Spartans: Logan, Zack, Cale, (coach), Danielle, Julie, Mary, Courtney, Emilee, Catherine, Olivia, Forrest, Landers, Josh

The next week was more of the same... cross country, football... running drama. After being un-invited to the Myrtle meet, we were afraid of being un-invited to the MC invitational. This wouldn't have been a big deal... except for the fact that MC is 3 hours away in Jackson, MS! We all had hotel rooms reserved, etc., and we did not want to get cancelled only a few hours prior to our departure.

After hemming and hawing, the moms finally decided to listen to all of the men who were telling us to "Let sleeping dogs lie... do NOT email the coach and hash out all of the details of the last week!" So... we left for Jackson on Friday, planning to run as scheduled.

When I say, "we," I mean the varsity runners and families. This race was a very large high school invitational run on the MS state championship course. I wanted the kids to get to run on the course and have a chance to compete with the top schools in the state. With it being so far and involving a hotel room, I decided to limit our numbers to varsity only (top 7). This also provided an incentive for runners to work hard in the future and ensure their spots on the varsity team!

OF COURSE it was raining.... drama and rain seemed to be a key theme in this season! The coach in charge sent out an email warning about muddy conditions. It said something to the effect of "the course and parking will be very muddy... I will have a tractor on site to pull out stuck vehicles... wear your rain boots!" It I can not remember a season so wet as this one has been!

We arrived in Clinton close to dark and did a course walk through. After checking out hills, turns, mud holes, and strategic surging spots, we headed back to the hotel to check in and get ready for dinner.

The next morning was chilly and still damp. At least it was not pouring! When we got close to the course, traffic came to a grinding halt. Thirty minutes passed, and we only moved a number of feet. People started walking/running by us, heading to the race. I finally got a phone call to let me know that there was a bus stuck, and it was blocking the entire drive. We pulled over and parked, grabbed our gear, and headed up to the course... I think it was about a mile walk... no joke! The entrance to the course is a very long little road!

When we got to the course and checked in, I found out that the races had been delayed due to traffic and mud! The tent was set up, and the runners were hanging out, relaxing, waiting for their races.

Reason #593 why I love my runners: this is what they do before races- knit and crochet!
Danielle, Julie, Margaret, and Hannah with their projects

Race time finally arrived... and our girls kicked tail!!! Wow! We beat every team in North Mississippi, 1-3A... Even Corinth! They did a great job, packing up and working together.

Our boys did a great job as well- they worked hard, and had a VERY respectable finish. This has been a building year for our boys, but we are looking quite strong for next year!

As we checked the results postings, it was pointed out that we were scored as a team! (We had been allowed to run in the race, but we had been told that we could count as individuals only b/c of home schooling.) Holding my breath, I went to the score table and pointed out the mistake. The ladies said that they thought it would be ok, since the meet was not sponsored by an MHSAA team.... Good enough for me!

At the awards ceremony, SPARTAN RUNNING CLUB was announced as the 1A-3A girls' runner up! (For all of my non-running, non-Mississippi readers... this was HUGE!) WOO HOO!!! The girls got to go up and get their plaque... So exciting!

Little did we know, the question of, "What do we do with the Plaque... we don't have a trophy case?" would be solved very shortly!

Before I even arrived home, it was called to my attention that the scores had been changed, and the Spartans had been removed from the team standings! Corinth was now listed as second!

It turned out that the coach in charge was pulling people out on his tractor, and he did not remember to change our team over to the exhibition category. Even though he was just doing what we had originally agreed upon, it was a little more disappointing this way.

At least we had our 15 seconds of fame! (We know who really got second in that race!)
varsity boys before the race
Varsity girls before the race

Duleys MIA

Wow... I realize that it has been a LONG time since I have posted anything! Although I would love to report that we have been on an extended, relaxing vacation... it simply isn't true. We have been up to our ears in cross country, football, and, oh yeah... school!

For the sake of scrapbooking, I am going to go back to where I left off with my posts... some important milestones have been reached at the Duley house!

At the end of September, the Spartans participated in the Tallahatchie Riverfest 5K. This is run in downtown New Albany, so I kind of feel like it is our "home course." We have had more rain this season than I can EVER remember... Hence, I was not surprised to wake up that morning to pouring rain. We arrived at BNA, got signed in, and huddled under an awning until it was time for the fun run. Just before time to start, the rain quit! Hooray!

Josh ran in the fun run, and Will RAN the 5K this year! It was his first 5K ever! Scott went in to football a little bit late so that he could run with him... the hills had him very, very nervous. He did great, though... 29:51!

you can see Josh starting the fun run

Hannah and Sarah did very well also. Hannah did her best time of the season- 31:32, and Sarah can't remember. (Her slacker mother waited too long to post about it!) However, she did get 1st in the 0-9 age category!

After the race, we walked around the craft fair, listened to the Gunnells' violin performance on the youth stage, and did "Paint the Town," an activity all of my children look forward to each year.
Hannah and Catherine with their balloon hats!

The next week we had the beginning of a lot of drama.... We were supposed to participate in a high shcool cross country meet in the area. BUT, I got a phone call on Friday to let me know that we were "un-invited." The coach in charge had been called out on the fact that home schoolers are not really supposed to compete alongside public school students. After a last minute scramble, we decided to participate in a 5K in Corinth, MS.

It turned out to be a beautiful morning- just perfect for running! I ran this race with Hannah, and she did a 28:38! Nothing like Mama crackin' the whip beside ya! Sarah had a good race (of course), and Will and Josh did the fun run.
Hannah and Sarah kickin' it in
Usually fun runs are about a half mile (or less)... this fun run didn't feel so fun to Josh! It was a FULL mile (actually about 1.1)! Will finished toward the front of the pack, and Josh ran just about the entire way! I didn't get an exact time, but I think he did it in about 14 minutes.
Here we are, finishing the last stretch! Great job for my future D-lineman!