Monday, May 22, 2017


**Dear readers, I'm trying a new format for my blog. Hopefully it will spur me on to write more often here.**

Dear Brother,

Last Friday night I made it home by 1 am. I know now that I am no longer a 'spring chicken'; my recovery took all weekend.
I was out with The Mr. watching our kids run in the State Track Meet. It was so exciting! On Thursday, the Girl Who Swims, and Runs, ran the 3000 m race at State. She's only a sophomore and she, and her teammate, qualified for State! We were pretty proud and excited at the Districts meet when she came in 2nd behind her teammate - knowing it was the time and place she needed to go on. So anyway, all season the meets have been either held in the rain, or hail, or cold. Until State. It was warm, really warm, and I'm pretty sure my girl was not used to it. She didn't have a great time, but she didn't come in last either!

The next day more excitement came our way. We headed back to Eugene ... the only two days I ever want to go there ... to watch The Boy race. His was the first race, the 4x100 relay. At Districts he also ran the 100 m and the 400 m, but placed 3rd, just missing the chance to run State in those. We were anticipating the relay teams to take 1st place ... they are fast! And they kept us on the edge of our seat the whole race! The Boy was the anchor leg for the 4x100, and he really moved. He was in first place, we were going wild, and then out of nowhere (it seemed to us) another kid passed him and took first at the last second ....
So then we hung out the rest of the afternoon/evening watching a number of other boys on our team place 1st, 2nd, 6th, in their events. The excitement grew as we all began to realize our boys team could take the championship points! So, it was finally time for the last race, the very last race of the whole meet, the 3A Boys 4x400 relay race. Our boys ran so fast, fast enough for a 3 second PR, and then once again, in the last 50 m, that same boy from the earlier relay passed our first place boy and took it.
But you know we weren't too upset. Our boys ran so fast, and did so well, and yes, they took the Championship, that we were ok with 2nd place.
The Boy with the paparazzi
There was a lot of celebrating and picture taking afterward of course. And then The Mr walked back across campus to get the car and then came back to pick us up - and all of this added up to a long day and getting home at 1 am. Not that I mind so much. It was quite an exciting way for my son to end his athletic career.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Running Blood

The high-schoolers had their District Track meet this week - two days (roughly 11 hours) and what excitement and entertainment they brought to the spectators.
Out Girl Who Swims and Runs is heading to the State meet next week in the 3000. She came out strong in the beginning, staying at the 2nd for most of the race. Towards the end though there was a girl in 3rd who looked like she really wanted that spot. (Only the top 2 advance to the State meet.) We were screaming, yelling, encouraging her loudly, to pick up the pace because there was a girl right behind her! Ok, it was probably more like 10 feet .. but it was too close for comfort. But our Girl picked it up at the end and took 2nd. As a sophomore, she's heading to State.
The Boy also had a good meet. He placed 3rd in his 100m dash and 400m run, which wasn't quite what he wanted. But he also runs both relays and his team took first in both of those - so on to State for them!
I'm pretty impressed by all the runners and throwers out there this week - competing in downpours, dealing with lightning delays, and gusts of wind - and still running and throwing their way to the end takes a lot of strength and determination.

In My Corner

** Disclaimer: I wrote this back on May 8, and hit the Save button instead of the Publish button. but even though it's a week later ... it's still true **

Track season is winding down. We have Districts this week and then the State meet next week. Pretty sure The Boy will be at state in both relays. And there is a chance our Girl Who Swims and Runs might make it there in one of her races. This week will tell us.
We've had some late nights with track meets (11 pm last Friday!), and between the Middle schooler and the High schoolers we've seen a lot of races. But I can honestly say I really like it! I like seeing the kids out there running, I like the team comradery, and the friendships that my kids have developed on their team.
This year has been a little bittersweet as our son has a number of Lasts. This is his Last track season. His last Twilight Meet. His Last team uniform. For 13 years he has been a part of a sports team. We've sat through numerous games/meets cheering for him and his teammates. I realize we have 4 more kids to cycle through numerous more competitions, but being the first with the lasts, I'm learning the process.
The younger two have not been sitting at home doing nothing. We have been attempting to finish up homeschool. The few sunny days we have had makes for some sporadic schooling inside. But we've managed to have class outside a few times. And we enjoyed a walk over the new bridge in town for our exercise class last week.
This past weekend their months of singing and practice came to an end after their final performance of kids choir. Their amazing choir leader adapted a book into a play, and our girl auditioned, and got, one of the lead roles. And she nailed it. Little K had a side role as a ballerina. She is also learning through this experience about how to handle jealousy and not being the one in the spotlight.
Our older girl sang; she danced; she acted [she fell, making it look real enough in practice that someone thought she had hurt herself; she bounced up and said, "No, I was just acting."] One of her opening lines was about how worthless she was ... talk about good acting! Dad and I were about near tears. The play was about labels - and how we find our worth in God, not in what other people think or say about us. It was a great play for all the kids to absorb, even more so I think for my 11 year old, who is entering those difficult years of adolescence.

So even though our days, and evenings, have been full, I am also planning the Boy's graduation party coming up in less than a month. This past Saturday with 4 of the 5 kids out of the house, I decided to paint - and begin to work on the list of things to do before the party. I dislike the prep work - taping, laying down drip cloths, but with my history of making messes, I knew it had to be done. And I'm glad I did. I managed to get the hallway painted in one day, along with plenty of paint on my hands and clothes. And I really like my nice bright white hallway now ... I'm wondering what will I paint next?!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

April holidays

The sun was so bright and warm on Saturday! We got the grass mowed, and other jobs done around the house after the Mr got home from work.
I was thinking how great it would be if the sun shone again like that for Easter Sunday.
Unfortunately, it didn't. The clouds moved in and a few teeny sprinkles of rain invaded our Easter egg hunt.
But, the kids didn't seem to mind.
The grown-ups didn't seem to mind.
The food was numerous and delicious.
The company was entertaining.
Here are a few photos I managed to get of my crew before they changed out of their church clothes. I had to text them on the way home (we were in separate cars) that there was to be no changing until after picture-taking!

 On another note .. April is a big birthday month around here. So a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my brother-in-law, my sister, my niece, my sister-in-laws, my daughters and my husband. (I think that covers all of them....)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Time for something new

Age is just a number.

The Mr's number just went up one today. But it doesn't seem to be slowing him down any.
About 7+ years ago or so, I had to stop running because I was pregnant. I ran my last 5k for that season, in Sept of 2009. Around that time, the Mr decided to take up running. It wasn't something he did since I had met him in 1992. He was into cycling and mountain climbing back then. As time went by, as kids came along, as work and life got more demanding, cycling and mountain climbing kind of took a back seat. And then running came into his life. So at an age around 40, he ran his first half marathon (after a few 5k's). He hasn't really stopped since then. Around that same time he also took his first swim lessons.
Even though water is not his best friend, he keeps at it today. He has completed 2 sprint triathlons, which has taken hours and hours of training. So, I just have to say, I'm pretty proud of this guy - to go from zero to numerous half marathons and a couple of triathlons (with more in the future) - at an age when a lot of other competitors have been at it for much longer - makes me pretty happy for him.
Like a wise man I know said, "If you're not dead, you're not done."

Monday, April 3, 2017

It's Spring!

I think spring has finally come to our corner of the world. There was enough sun to lure us into a spontaneous trip to the beach. So we had 'school' out at the coast today.

 We started with Music Class - As we drove, I had the Zac Brown Band CD playing; K took over the guitar solos, M. managed the fiddle, I tried to keep up with vocals and drums.
We had a little lesson in Social Studies before we hit the beach. I needed to add something to our picnic lunch, so a quick stop at the grocery store yielded some chocolate filled croissants .. a little peek into French culture. I've heard that they eat chocolate with breakfast. Not having been there, I think I would like to research this firsthand at some point.
Our next class was Oceanography. We explored the tidepools and learned about sea anemones, mussels, waves, and the power of water on rock.
PE was next. The three of us climbed all the way to the top of the big sand dune. It took a little longer for me, but I made it!

And we even got an Economics lesson in today - K was lobbying for a stop at the ice cream shack on the way home; Unfortunately it was out of the path of the drive home, and beyond what I had budgeted for the little trip.
Not too bad for a homeschool day. Sad that the older 3 couldn't come with us.

Sunday, January 29, 2017


How many teenagers do you know who would get up at 4:30 a.m. on a school morning to jump into cold water?
The swim team does it willingly.
Every day.
For 3 months straight,
Including over Christmas break.
Not only that, how many of those teens would do double practices over the break, along with signing and abiding by a no-junk food clause for the entire season? Along with smelling like chlorine for a few months, because even though you shower right after, there is still a lingering smell from the pool, not a bad smell, but a lingering one.
This sport of their choice also means more laundry, more food, more I-can't -stay-up-and-watch -that-movie-because-I-have-swim practice-in-the-morning.
It means self-discipline, self-control, self-motivation.
But it also comes with teammates in the same position; friends who know exactly what you are going though; comradery that comes from mutual experience;
It comes with coaches who push you, believe you can do more; and motivate you to keep at it.
For my daughter it means getting herself downstairs on time every early morning to get a ride from Dad to the pool. She looks longingly at our ice cream on those nights when we have dessert (although we try and do it on the nights she isn't home).
She is a night-owl who loves swimming; which means, she has to adjust her schedule to meet her commitment.
So many life lessons wrapped up in one season during the school year.