Sunday, March 31, 2013

This week and Happy Easter!

This week was a nice second spring break for us.  The boys spent most of the week with my parents in Memphis after last week's Mito-What 5K.  Scott, the girls, and I kept busy doing various random and mundane things.  

Tuesday night was the annual CHENM Father/Daughter Banquet.  This evening is the main reason we pay dues and join CHENM each year.  The girls wouldn't miss it!  The fathers and daughters have dinner, get a photo made, and play games together.  Here is the photo of our photo...

This week was also peak mileage week.  It is Sunday afternoon, and I still have 13 miles to run by tomorrow afternoon in order to get to my 50 miles.  

Saturday I went to Corinth, MS to do my last long run before Boston with the "Lunatic Fringe" group, led by my coach, Kenneth Williams.  He backed me down from 22 to 20 (thankfully), and I had a great run on their HILLY highway!  There was no heat, and there were no horseflies... but there was humidity (it was very, very foggy!) and it was definitely hardcore!  

When I got home from my long run, it was pouring rain.  The Johnson's annual egg hunt had to be cancelled, because outside was a hot mess.  Roan invited us to go ahead and come visit and have supper, so Hannah and I hurried to Walmart (in the rain on the Saturday before Easter- not smart) and then we spent the evening at the Johnsons.  The kids had a mini-egg hunt upstairs, and we enjoyed getting to visit with everyone!  

Happy Easter, everyone!  He is risen!  He is risen indeed!  
We got a few family photos before and after church today...  and then after a great resurrection sermon, we had Easter lunch here with friends from church.  

Sunday, March 24, 2013

This week

This week's events can be categorized into two broad themes:  goat turds and running.  

Goat turds!?  Really?  Did I just type "goat turds" with the intention of blogging about it?  Has my life come to this?  Why yes, yes it has.  

I spent the bulk of my time at home this week scruntinizing goat turds.  Although goats are similar in some ways to dogs, you really have to watch them.   If they get a little down, they can go down fast, and their poop is a good indicator of their health.  

I know you are dying to know... goat turds, or "nanny berries" are supposed to be firm, little round balls.  Anything too runny, globby, or giant indicates a problem.

Houston, we had a problem.  

I consulted friends about poop.  I read info on the internet about poo poo issues.  I followed goats around... waiting to examine their poop and then I even poked and prodded goat poo to check consistency.  

I now have a goat app on my phone.  

I seriously researched and considered performing my own goat fecal sample exams under microscope.  

But I balked at that one.  

After worming the goats with a more powerful wormer, followed by more goat turd scruntiny, I continued hoping the poop would go back to normal.  On Friday, my friend Ron gave me some confidence; things were moving in the correct direction, and he didn't think there was anything to worry about.  Woohoo!

I mentioned that the other theme of the week was running... 

Our first spring Spartan practice was this Tuesday.  The runners did a mile time trial in order to get a base time for spring training.  I was very impressed with all performances, but it was especially great to see that we have a good pack of boys working together!  

My mileage was 46 for this week, and so I spent a lot of time running as well.  My long run of 20 miles was done on the treadmill this week... my coach proclaimed me mentally ill, but it was the only time/ place to make it work!  

Instead of a typical tempo run this week, I incorporated our family's streak race into my training plan.  There is one race that we make sure NOT to miss each year, and it is also a family reunion of sorts!

This Saturday was the 4th Annual Mito What? 5K to benefit my cousin's son, Jackson Culley.  Jackson has Mitochondrial Disease, and the race raises money to support research for a cure.  We try to remember these children in our prayers, because currently there is no cure for this disease.  Unfortunately, Jackson was not able to attend the race this year, because he had been admitted to the hospital that morning.  On a positive note, it was announced that over the past 4 years, the race has raised $85,000 for the UMDF!   

It was COLD this weekend, but we were happy that it was NOT raining!  Julie Johnson was staying with us for a few days, and Scott tried hard to get her to register as Julie Johnson Duley...  It would have paid off, too, because she finished first in her age group!
Sarah, Julie, and Hannah all got age group awards! 

Scott and I got awards too!   

Will and Josh both ran, and they did a great job!  Will ran by himself, and my mom ran with Josh.  Josh informed Julie, "I'm gonna run this with my grandmother, so I'm just gonna take it nice and easy."
Our times were as follows:  
Mom and Josh:  41 something
Will:  31:00
Scott: 25:25
Hannah:  25:25
Sarah: 22:45
Julie J: 21:40
Heather: 21:08

My dad said he couldn't run this year, because he had to babysit... maybe next year!  Below, mom and dad freezing in their Memphis Tiger gear!  

I mentioned that the race is sort of a mini-family reunion... Here are three of my aunts with my dad:  Aunt Gwen (Jackson's grandmother), Aunt Peggy, and Aunt Mary.  We all agreed that we need to have a get together sometime in the summer when we can visit where our teeth aren't chattering!  

My cousin Lynn with Elizabeth, Jackson's sister.  (and I am not sure who the little boy is, but it SEEMS like Lynn said he was one of the kids there with MD.)

My cousin Cassie and Troy...  The Tigers were playing that afternoon in March Madness... hence all of the tiger fans representin'... 

After the race we went back to my parents' house for lunch.  I have a knack for setting things on fire with the broiler... I got mad cooking skills, just like my mom and my Tootie...

We had extra buns, thankfully, and we ended up having a very tasty lunch before going home!

And what do you know?!  When I went to feed the goats after the race, there were ONLY "nanny berries" on the barn floor.   No drips, glops, or baseballs.  Thank you, Lord for the little things!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Out to Pasture

Things around here have not been too crazy lately, which is kinda nice.  Aside from the travelling in the last week or two, we have been at home.  

The Boston Marathon is only one month away, and I have been TRYING to stay consistent with my training.  It is difficult, because even though I want to be a great runner... I am a wife and mama first.  

And things come up.  And I'm pooped.  And a twelve mile tempo run sounds about as impossible as climbing Mt. Everest.  

However, for the most part, I really have been "in the black" more than usual.  Today I got to run with my friend Roan for part of our long run.  We both had 20 miles, but she started earlier and ran the first 9 with our other friend Lynn.  We met and ran her last/ my first 11 miles together, and then I thought I would try to pick up the pace a bit.  

Humble Pie was on my lunch menu.  

I need to re-evaluate my time goals for Boston, I am afraid.  That 2012 New Orleans Marathon just took the tuck out of me, and I haven't bene the same since.  My last 9 miles were between 7:45-8:04.  That's great and everything, but I don't think I could have done that for 26 miles.  Seriously.  I have 8 miles tomorrow to get me up to 40 for the week, then 44 next week, 48 the next, and a taper!  

I plan to keep training, keep sticking (for the most part) to my plan, and I guess we will see what happens.  THEN, I am going out to pasture.  For real.  My feet need a break.  I might do some P90X or become a power walker.  Who knows!  I would like to save up and get a bike or a pool membership... we will just see.  

Speaking of out to pasture, Scott and the boys have been RESOURCEFULLY working on a fence for my front yard.  Yes, I realize this likely solidifies any redneck impressions you might have of our family.  And those redneck impressions would be correct.  BUT, I have been wanting to fence in my front yard for a while now... for two reasons.

I will start with the less embarrassing of the two.. A fence around our front yard provides a defined area to work in and make pretty.  I would like to combine vegetables and pretty landscaping to make an attractive and functional space.  Too bad I have no idea where to start with that...

The second reason is to keep the goats and dogs out.  Our azaleas and firepowers have been eaten down to almost nothing.   There are always little goat turds on my porch.  And the dogs think my verbena makes a soft bed on a starry night.   I truly think a pasture fence around the front yard will eventually be more welcoming than goat turds on the porch and squashed/ eaten landscaping!  

Back to the resourceful part... Scott went and found cedar trees which were down on our property.  He cut them into fence post lengths, and then split them in two.  It makes a beautiful post!  And they were free!  

He also used Goat wire left over from the goat pen last spring break.  One day down the road we will go over the top of it with fence boards, but for now it works fine.  

And now, SURELY.... SURELY... I can get grass and tomatoes and flowers to grow in this area!  Less orange... more green, that's the goal!  



Right around the time of the feast, I took our van in to have a tune up.  The service manager sat beside me and told me I would need a shoulder to cry on... It was very bad news indeed.  Our '03 honda had 250,000 miles and was finally too broke to fix.  

We began researching vehicles, decided on the Nissan Quest, and began researching for a good deal.  

Meanwhile, Hannah was preparing for a MAJOR adventure!  I will have her be a guest poster soon to tell you all about her DISNEY CRUISE TO MEXICO AND THE BAHAMAS!!!  Scott's sister Stefanie invited her to go with their family on vacation this year.   What an amazing opportunity!  We got her passport, my mom took her shopping for some summer clothes, and I took her to Atlanta to begin her journey!  We didn't get to talk much while she was gone, but Stef did send me this picture one day while they were on a snorkeling excursion... 

While Hannah was cruising the Bahamas, we found a van that fit our price range and requirements.  I drove to Huntsville, AL with the intention of purchasing it.  After bursting into tears in the salesman's office, he gave me the price we had agreed upon via phone conversations.  (Well close to the price... )  It seems our Honda wasn't quite the trade in they had expected.  BUT, I told three different people our van was in BAD condition.  Next time, they should ask for details.  Here is our new ride...   

I am completely a soccer mom now... blogging about my sporty mini-van... what next?!   

When Hannah and the Millers returned from their cruise, we met them in Ocala, FL.  Scott's PawPaw was in the hospital, and we all really wanted to see him.  Atlanta was half way there, Scott was beginning his spring break, and we figured it was a good time to make a trip.  After visiting PawPaw and having lunch together, the Millers went home to Atlanta, and we all headed to Dunnellon.

The Rainbow River in Dunnellon is my happy place, and four years is too long to go between visits.  In fact, if Scott's dad decided to retire there instead of here, I would be the first one packing suitcases.

It. Is. Beautiful.

AND, it has something else going for it... family!  I always enjoy spending time with the Florida Duleys.  The kids LOVE their cousins, and it warms my heart to see them all running around together and having such a good time.

There is no substitute for family.  We all have issues, but we are still family, and we shouldn't take it for granted.  You know, that whole blood is thicker than water thing...

As I mentioned, four years is way too long to go between visits, and so this was our first time to meet Katie and Brian's little girl, Kennedy.  Above are Hannah, Mattie (holding Kennedy), and Sarah.  It was also our first time to meet Becky, Jack's little girl... who is TWO!  And it was our first time to visit since Jack and Jackie have been married!  Sheesh, that makes me embarrassed just to type it.  

 The kids spend the few days we were there playing around Aunt Connie and Uncle Billy's dock, fishing, playing capture the flag, kayaking, and swimming.  Garrett tried to give Hannah a few fishing tips (above)  and she finally did catch (AND KISS) a little bitty thing, before tossing it back into the river!

 Here are the cousins playing on the dock....

The adults had a good time visiting as well.  Katie and I made Pioneer Woman cinnamon rolls, and they were YUMMY.   While I kept an eye on the kids, Scott and Uncle Billy went to see PawPaw again, we visited with Uncle John and Aunt Lisa some, and we got to be there for Aubrey's birthday party!

Our Florida visits always go by too quickly!  

Feast Pictures!

I have a lot of great pictures from the booth part of the feast.  Once it was time for dinner, I was busy rushing around getting prepared for the play, and my camera was forgotten!  

Below are Sarah and Clayton Fulgham.  Sarah did "Farming in the Middle Ages" and dressed like a milk maid... complete with live, baby goat!  Clayton had a blacksmithing booth with his dad.  

Josh made a "photo booth" for his project.  He and Scott made stocks, which we had in the center of the gym for people to try out and get a fun picture.  Here is Rebekah Brandon... 

The little maidens were too precious!

Feast Committee husbands: Nathan, Trey, and Scott

Trey and Matt Robinson were decked out for the event!

Will and Jonathan Crampton (both wizards) monitored the wizard booth.

Will put together this wizard booth completely on his own.  He made "parchment" by soaking cardstock in tea, and wrote short biographies about famous wizard legends from the middle ages.  He even brought a potion and magic wand samples!  

Hannah and I...

The two milk maids...

I love this picture!  Josh, Miles Robinson, and Rebekah Brandon... the three amigos

Scott and the ninja warrior, Ron Brandon...

Sarah posing in front of her booth...

She printed off information about farms in the middle ages, made a clay model of a farmhouse/ farmyard, had wheat berries for people to grind by hand, a baby goat to pet, and baby chicks to see... She worked hard to pull it all together!  

Darby McCoy grinding wheat!

Hannah and Ruth Brandon with their flowing sleeves...

 Will is ready for fencing lessons...
 Meagan Robinson is working in the blacksmith booth.  Probably not an occupation for a fine lady of the middle ages, but oh well!

 The Fulghams in front of the chess tournament booth...

Catherine and Anna Beth
 A beautiful group of ladies!  And nuns.  and serfs.  and don't forget Joan of Arc! 
 Ok, so they didn't completely go with the middle age theme... peace out, and lets go have some marzipan! 

The dinner was wonderful, and my students did an AMAZING job with the Robin Hood play.  I was astounded at how well they all did.  When it was all said and done, we were pooped, but the night was 100% successful!