Friday, June 24, 2011

Hannah's quilt

While we were organizing, painting, and assembling school desks, Hannah was spending the week at Nana's house for "quilting camp!"

Kay is in charge of a big quilt show in the spring, and the girls want to make and enter bed spreads. During the week, they shopped for fabric, cut the quilt pieces, pieced the top, and quilted it!

Here she is working with the quilting machine...

When we met in Meridian, Hannah was so proud to show me her quilt! What a fun week!

Here is the finished product!

Will's baseball

Thursday night was Will's turn for baseball, and his game was at East Union... Home of the Urchins.

This has been the boys' first year to play baseball. Will had to jump right in with kid pitch... He has improved so much over the season.

He has made several friends from Scott's school...

Batting has been the biggest challenge by far. When I played softball, my parents would yell, "a walk's as good as a hit!" every time I got up to bat. I think Will can relate!

But seriously, a walk IS as good as a hit... You get on base!

We have enjoyed the time at the ball fields this summer, and it has been nice getting to know people in our county.

Life on the farm

When my mom comes, I think she finds humor in the fact that her city-raised daughter is now THIS person...

Oh yes, that's me... Counting, watering, and feeding our 46 meat birds... In pj's and rain boots... Who would ever have thought...

Contrary to my little red friends, my laying hens, these meat birds stink and are nasty. BUT grass fed organic chicken is worth it! Sarah has really done most of the work with this batch, though... We know why farmers had so many kids!

Luke and Frizzie enjoy supervising morning chores...

My little friends usually come to the back porch during this time as well... Hoping for some breakfast scraps!

Back in the house, we got to a slow, summer morning start.

The kids all LOVE Sammy, my mom's teacup Yorkie...

Frizzie was not so sure if Sammy was friend or rodent... Finally, she decided friend!

Meanwhile, Bandit was patiently eyeing Sarah's cereal...

It paid off...

While Frizzie was checking out Sammy and Bandit was sneaking milk, Luke was just happy to be in the house.

This is how he smiles at us!


This has been a very busy week... I am planning to pull an all nighter so that I can finally post some "after" pictures of my rearranging. I wish I had taken before pictures, but any pictures taken now would reveal only chaos.

My mom came last week to help me be a "finisher," because I am notorious for being an 80/20 person... Getting a project 80% complete and then moving on, leaving the remaining 20% undone. Instead, we mostly finished several things, and I decided I would paint the upstairs!

While mom was in town, she got to see both boys play baseball games. Before Josh's game, we went to George's for supper... Yum!

Here are some pictures from his game...

What a good lookin' team!

Fun in the dugout...

Josh has been playing catcher, and he really likes it. Being part of the action on every pitch definitely keeps him interested... And sweaty!

Good game, good game, good game, good game, good game, good game....
24-7, L&W won the game!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Reading for Joy

One of our most quoted Josh-isms of late is, "I don't read for joy yet."

Reading has not come easily to him, and there has NEVER been a time where he happily consented to his reading lesson or chose to read on his own. It has always been accompanied by groans, moans, and negotiations regarding the length of the passage.

Until tonight.

It all started with a light bulb.... A few weeks ago we began a "small" task of switching the girls room and the school room. That is deserving of it's own post, so I won't go into details. However, it is important to note that the boys ended up with loft beds in their room, and I got them each clamp-on lamp for reading at night. The only problem was that I did not have the right light bulbs! Every night Josh would say, "MOM, don't forget light bulbs tomorrow!" In that moment, I would fully intend to purchase light bulbs the next day... But inevitably forget. This morning I remembered the light bulbs! Hooray!

After baseball, snacks, and showers, the boys were ready for bed. It was 2 full hours past bedtime. Josh rushed to his room, installed his light bulb, adjusted his lamp, and picked out a book. Weakly, I protested about the time, but I was willingly overruled. His eagerness to read a book quickly cancelled any reservations I had about the lateness of hour. We clambered onto the loft bed and began to read "When a bug went Kachoo," (or something like that) by the light of the clamp lamp.

"One or two pages," I thought to myself, "This will only take a minute." I have never been so happy to be mistaken! Josh continued to say, "Oh let's just read to this page... Then this page... And so on."

I finally got down from the loft bed to go visit with my mom, but I gave him permission to continue reading to Will for a little while. Excitedly, he kept plugging along, sounding out word after word, and even adding in some expression!

30 minutes later, Will stumbled out and asked if Josh could PLEASE stop reading now... If you only knew how much of a role reversal that is... Upon entering the room, I found descending his loft bed ladder, book tucked underneath his chin. With a grin, he informed me that he had read the entire thing.

"Josh!" I said, "You are reading for joy now!" He gave me a great big hug, told his daddy, and was in bed fast asleep before I could write the first paragraph of this blog post.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Marathons/ love of running

I have never done a marathon. Several times I have started a training program... Only to end up pregnant or injured! My most recent attempt ended in injury, but I learned a valuable lesson... The injury rule is too much, too soon, too fast: a sure way to achieve an injury! Although my mileage increased very gradually, my error was in the too fast department. I was ready for a 12 mile long run, and I decided just to do the Frostbite half marathon as a training run. HA! It turns out, trying to RACE a distance that you've never even run before is not such a good plan! My legs were so sore that when I went for my next run, I could feel the beginning if the end in my lower right leg. I made it up to a long run of 17, and then got a pretty black boot to wear for 4-6 weeks.

This year I will have 4 senior BMC runners, and they want to do the St. Jude full marathon after their last season. I agreed to do it with them, and all along, I have thought that if I am going to run 26.2 miles, I would like to do it fast enough to qualify for Boston. (Also, all my friends at church have gone on diets, but I would rather just run extra... I'm going to get a t-shirt that says, "I run so I can eat cookies!")

So there we have it. My running goal for the next 6 months is to train for a full marathon and hopefully qualify for Boston (for my age, that would be around an 8:30 pace). I'm such a sandbagger that it feels very, very strange to just put my "secret goal" out there for the whole world to see. I am very nervous about my ability to do this, but we will see how it all turns out. I

In order to achieve my goal, I knew that I would need help from someone with experience. While I am a running coach, my experience lies in the areas of 5k-8K... Kenneth Williams from Corinth has agreed to help me in my training. I got my training plan and almost had a heart attack when I saw 50 under the total weekly mileage column. Baby steps, and one week at a time. I'm not going to look at those numbers yet...

Last week my long run was 9 miles, and I decided to run with a group of friends. It was my first long run after having my wisdom teeth pulled, and I knew I was not going to worry about pace. Before starting the run, they belittled themselves and referred to themselves as the "grannies."

I remembered why I love running during that 9 mile run... Even though my face was hurting!

For the last year or two, my training has lacked consistency, and yet I have tried to train and race at levels for which I was not adequately prepared. That is miserable. In fact, during the Coke 10K, I told a BMC runner, "I hate running!" And I meant every word at that moment!

As I ran with the ladies, we talked about this and that, looked at houses, and enjoyed each other's company. What a pleasant time! I wasn't exaggerating a second ago; I really thought as I left, "I miss that. That's why I love to run!". It was such a refreshing time- I can't put words to it, but I am so thankful for friends who included me!

I called Scott on my way to BMC and told him that if I reach my marathon goal... Or even get close...or maybe even if I don't, I am retiring from running hard. I am going to join the grannies and quit trying to keep up with Spartans and Toppers!