Monday, April 14, 2014

Celebrate

Birthday month has begun! We started the party Friday night, with my in-laws coming over to celebrate the Mr's birthday a little early. We had his favorite - berry pie, and sherbet and ice cream.
I decided to get out some special plates that had been sitting in the cupboard collecting dust. Lots of dust. I thought it was about time to just start using them! and not waiting for that special day/party. Because, really, every time we celebrate another year, it is a special time. These plates are a 16-piece set that my parents received way back in the day for their wedding. My mom gave them to me awhile ago, knowing she wouldn't be using them to entertain anymore. Just for reference, my parents were married nearly 60 years ago! So these dishes are probably classified as antiques. Not that it matters, I just think it's cool to be using the ones my mom did.
We didn't do as much celebrating on Saturday since half the family went to work out on the farm, and the other half (my half) had stuff to do around town and home. But Sunday! Phew! What a birthday!
The Mr. is one of the most selfless guys I know! For his birthday he got up early, made sure I was on my way, alone, by 7:30 am, and then got all 5 kids ready to go, to leave the house by 8.30. Then he proceeded to drive around our old college town with all the kids while I ran a half-marathon. They cheered me on, and kept me going, especially miles 4-8 when I just felt like crying and quitting. After the race we dropped the kids off at my sister's house, and the Mr. and I got to go out for lunch together. I was going to take him to his favorite Hawaiian restaurant there, but they are closed on Sundays! Poor guy, didn't even get the yummy meal he had been looking forward to. At least he/we got out for lunch. And then he drove the kids home and fell into bed for a nap, he was that tired. Not a perfect birthday in some people's eyes, but he says he loved spending it with the people he loves.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring

I think spring has finally come to the northwest. What a beautiful week we are having!
The girls and I headed out to the farm yesterday for our first spring-farm-day.
We got to ride in the back of grandpa's truck and help plant beans. The girls brought some tools and dug in the dirt, concocting all sorts of imaginative places. We stacked wood and played in the mud; enjoyed the sunshine and then the usual lunch with grandparents at the B.King. An unexpected treat - the Mr. was in town and got to come have lunch with us also. Overall a fantastic, dusty, fun time.
It's days like this that I wish the older two kids were still home-schooled.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Training

THE Marathon is looming.
I have less than 8 weeks to go!
Yikes!
I am not on-track with the schedule I planned out in the beginning, but I am close. This past weekend I was able to get in 15 miles, although not altogether. The mental part is almost harder than the physical. My legs are tired, sure, but running alone for that long, and not stopping, and not giving in to the little voice that says "Let's eat ice cream instead of run" -- that is hard.
I am thankful for the days the Mr. runs alongside me, or the times when the kids ride their bikes with me. They help me to keep going and not think about stopping.
I am also learning to eat and drink on the run, literally. Not as easy as it might sound. And I hate the taste of the energy drinks like GU and gatorade. Ugh. But I need something more than water. I wonder if pop would be a good substitute. Ha!
This coming weekend we have a half marathon planned. My husband's birthday will be spent running 13 miles, part of it together. And then we will celebrate with Hawaiian food! And a nap.

Remodel

Did you wonder what had happened to the remodeling on our house?
Well the 3 kids have been living upstairs for over a year now. The playroom is fully functional although the detail work hasn't been done yet (ie. trim). And now the Mr. is working on the bathroom. He got the cabinet in, and the countertop and sink installed. So we have water! This weekend he built the shelf and put up (more!) sheet rock. He's a pro at it by now. My job this weekend was to go shopping. It's a hard life. So I headed down to our lovely date spot - the orange do-it-yourself store - and checked out different tile options.
We are looking at Sand Pacific if anyone wants to look it up. We (and that is a loosely used term here) are going to put tile on the backsplash and up on the shelf. Somehow we will tie it in to the shower tile and flooring. That's the hard part for me - visualizing the colors going together. If I see it in a photo, I can tell what I like and don't like. But putting it together on my own is a bit more challenging. So it's a good thing my husband is patient with me.


Grandma

**Disclaimer - I wrote this past last week, and am finally posting it. So read it like you are in the past**

My mom had a milestone birthday last week. but it wasn't until this past weekend that many of the siblings were able to get together and celebrate with her. 8 of the 10 of us, and our spouses and children, gathered at Mom and Dad's home for a potluck and cake.
It was a great time seeing the family, and my 7 month old nephew (!) who I haven't gotten to hold since he was about a month old or so. Just not right. His baby fat and wiggles and giggles made me so happy. The kids got to see their cousins and have a grand time playing.
Earlier in the day I had run 10 miles ... and didn't get a nap in. Not a good idea to jump to a party an hour after running. The killer headache I developed, along with some gut problems, had me in bed before 8 pm.

Monday, March 31, 2014

March

The month of March was full of .. everything.
We had some rain. Ok, a lot of rain.
And then we had some sun! It was wonderful to be able to say yes when they pleaded to go outside
We even got the lawns mowed. Once.
No, I didn't make them do it by hand. I have no idea why his hand is so green.
We made cookies to share and to celebrate. Because there's always reason to bake and celebrate.
And we had friends over. What else do they do when friends come over?! Dress up!



And finally - spring break. One of my favorite weeks. The 2 kids went back to away-school today and I realized how much I enjoyed having them around last week. Ok, I didn't care for the constant questioning "Can I play Xbox?" because it poured rain most of the week. But I did enjoy just having them around. The teen years aren't actually all that bad. It's nice to be able to have (some) normal, nearly-adult conversations. And it's fun to see the younger ones interacting with the older ones.

Feeling blessed.

Monday, March 17, 2014

In for the win

This weekend was a winning weekend!
On Saturday two of our girls, Dots and Squiggles, participated in the Awana Games. This is where teams from around the area get together at a local gym - a college in our case - and compete against each other in some fun games.
There's the balloon volley, the 'marathon' - which is running in circles basically for 6 laps, the 3 legged-race, and some throwing-bean-bags competition. One of the fun ones is the Sparkies crawl - this is where the Sparkies, who are in grades K through 2, get down and crawl across the floor - not too hard, right? Except that there are 4 teams coming from 4 different directions, intersecting in the 'middle'. It's pretty much controlled chaos, and so fun to watch. Well, after all was said and done our church's teams won the games! Both girls' teams came in first, so that was pretty exciting. They each got to take home a medal, which is now hanging somewhere in their bedrooms.
On Sunday the Mr. and I went for a long run. He helped me out on the first leg of my 8-miler, since he was only going 5 that day. As I waved goodbye to him and ran on, my phone rang. I didn't recognize the number, but answered anyway. As the person on the other side talked, I was trying to figure out who she was and why was she calling me. After the normal greeting niceties (When I finally figured out her voice!) she asked, "Do you remember that raffle drawing you entered awhile ago?" um... I had to think for a minute, ok, yes. Earlier in the year we had purchased some tickets for a raffle, wanting to help the bunch of friends of ours going on a mission trip this month.
"Well," she continued on, "you won!"  What?! No way!? Seriously?! Wow! double double Wow! What a shock - we had won the 55 inch flat panel TV. Yes, 55 inch! It is like the size of a bathtub! We went from a 29 incher old style to this big boat. Wow! After the phone call all I could think was, "Wow! Thank you God!"
That was the best 8 mile run I have ever had. I felt like I could keep going. (So, friends and family if you have some good news to share with me, can you save it until May 31? That's my marathon day; and then could you call me every half hour or so and tell me the good news so it will be like floating on air to get those 26 miles done? Thanks ever so much.)
We have been on the Dave Ramsey plan for just over a year now. As of this month we have wiped out one credit card, put a bunch into emergency savings, and are working on knocking off the other card debt. (Steps 1 and 2 for those in the know.) It is so awesome to be able to give money to help others, knowing that we have plenty. When we got the news of the win, I just kept thinking, God is blessing us, letting us know we are on the right track and we're doing it! A TV can be a blessing can't it? It was on our 'someday it would be nice to have this' list, and whammo - here it is.
Wow!