Monday, May 25, 2015

Run Again

Just under a year ago, I ran a marathon. My first, and possibly my only marathon. After that experience I took a long time off from running. Just about a year actually. Oh, I ran sporadically, thinking I would get back to it. But this past year has been full of other people's activities, and a rolling tide of health issues.
I've been taking iron supplements for a week now, and it is so wonderful to make it through the day without taking a nap!
Last Friday the Mr and I drove down to the Boy's State Track Meet. We were running late, we didn't really know the area, but thankfully we were able to find parking sort of nearby. So we ran - because we had about 10 minutes to get to the gate, buy tickets and get inside to see the Boy run the first of this two races. By the time we sat down I was breathing hard, and a little shaky because I hadn't eaten for hours, but we made. And I made it - running. It was the catalyst for this morning's run. 
So I ran a mile today. A whole mile! Without stopping or feeling like I was going to die. It's an incredible feeling to know that I can actually do this. I can run again. Since the Mr has his mileage up to 13 miles - he ran a half marathon last weekend - I asked him to help me out today. Mental support is just as important as the shoes I wear. I took a long warm-up walk, and then started running my mile. He caught me at the end of his workout and (mentally) carried me to the end.
Oh what a feeling.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Of books and things

It's no secret to those who really know me how much I love to read.
I'll try one genre for awhile, get bored with it, and move on to something else. Last year it was biographies. There are some fascinating people out there. Tim Conway's bio was one of my favorites, along with Carol Burnett. This year I am back to fiction, but not the Christian fiction I once gorged on. I got so tired of the predictable romance novels, (I can hear my Peruvian friend cheering at this.)
Our family passes books and magazines around and one came across my doorstep titled My Sister's Keeper (by Jodi Picoult) - interestingly enough, my sister brought it over.
Once I started it I didn't want to put it down. It's a fascinating read, taking on a bio-ethical topic but yet written in a compelling story of a family dealing with leukemia. It made me think, and at my age my brain needs workouts.
I also learned that I should NOT read stories of children with leukemia when my own child is sick. My little Ham-N-Cheese girl had a fever of 101-102 for nearly a week. Thankfully it did not turn out to be anything serious, except in my crazy dreams that must have been influenced by my reading.
This week I am back to reading Power of a Praying Parent, and The 5 Love Languages, both non-fiction, and both more focused on helping our family grow. But if you have any suggestions for next week, let me know ...

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May Flowers

We had a few princesses over for tea this past weekend. We brought out the special girls' tea sets, and prepared plenty of dainty food for little fingers.

 Little K had her first friends birthday party this time. She was able to invite 4 friends over to celebrate with a tea party. They played games, they ate food, they drank "tea" (lemonade), the made princess party hats. And Little K came away with some nice gifts! Plenty of princessy items, lots of bubbles (yay!) and a baby doll.
 She loves her babies, and is taking some time on making sure this new one has just the right name. 2 days later, and I am not sure if she has settled on a name or not yet.
 She also got a beautiful dress. That lights up. And sings. Yes, a singing dress. By the end of the evening, the rest of us were all quite done with the song, but she loves that dress, and its matching, singing, bracelet.
I wonder how long the batteries will last. Hopefully not until she is 6.

April showers

We didn't have much rain in April this month, which is very unusual for Oregon.
But we got a lot of outside work done! We had a couple of days at the farm, along with working outside on our own yard, fixing up fences and drain pipes.
 Grandpa had a couple of bicycles for the girls to try. Little K did her best to keep up with them, but eventually she ended up with mom on the back of the pickup, going for a ride with Grandpa.
 It was a gathering sticks kind of day - a perfect job for people closer to the ground than us adults! They got a kick out of building up the burn pile. My dad cleared some land to plant new trees and he couldn't work the ground until those pesky sticks were out of the way.
 Back at home the Mr has been working on getting our drainage problems taken care of. When we get the normal amount of rain for Oregon, our backyard starts to look like a lake, along with a nice pond in the front. We have finally discovered why, but it has taken a lot of digging to figure out where the pipes were plugged. This past weekend we found an elbow in the pipe that was clogged with roots - live roots - where the pipe had come open as it settled in the ground. Whoever installed it did not attach the two sections very well.
 There was also a fence to repair. Y'know, after 20 some years, things just start to fall apart; or get knocked over by the wind. Thankfully it was only one section that needed fixing, and we only had to buy concrete, since we had some posts in the garage already, and we could re-use the slats. It was a good learning opportunity for the kids too - I'm always looking for those!
 Even little K wanted to help.
 And finally, as April comes to an end, we had Little K's birthday. Turning 5 is such a big deal. She's no longer a baby. She's learning to read, and to tie her shoelaces, and soon to ride a bike without training wheels.
 Of course, the certain Princess from a certain *cold* movie was the star of this birthday. My girls loves that movie still, and would watch it daily if we would let her. Unfortunately, we are long over the songs. Except for the snowman. I could listen to him some more.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Birthdays

April is birthday month around here. Within our little family there are 3 we celebrate, and the extended family includes 7 more, and then there are a number of good friends with April birthdays.
We start out with this man:
The Mr and little K goofing around



He makes me laugh. He knows my strengths and weaknesses. He knows when he needs to make me laugh, and when to be quiet. After almost 20 years together, he has that figured out.
We had birthday pie, instead of cake, made by our girl
 along with other presents from me and the kids.
 We celebrated the 12 year-old's birthday this weekend. She had a sleepover and scavenger hunt with her friends who share birthdays this week, and then we had a little family gathering in the yard
The weather is actually beautiful for an Oregon springtime, so we are taking advantage of the outdoors while we can.


Monday, April 6, 2015

This Holiday

The things about Easter in Oregon is you never know what kind of weather you will have. Will we be wearing raincoats or sweaters to hunt for eggs this year? Trying to find a pretty dress for each of my girls has been an endeavor of patience every year. Why, oh why, do stores in Oregon sell pretty spring dresses WITHOUT sleeves?????? We found racks of dresses with spaghetti straps, or thin straps, but very few with sleeves - and they are all short short sleeves. If I knew how to sew I might start a business in Oregon selling long-sleeve spring dresses!
But we girls managed to find something new to wear - one of the few traditions we have for this holiday. And I managed to eventually get a good family photo of these silly kids.

After church we drove to my sister's house for a family dinner.
And the egg hunt. Notice the jackets? It was cold and wet outside! We managed to hide and find the plastic eggs in between rain showers.

 Even the older kids searched - although originally they said they weren't going to.

And now, it's time to clean out the snack cupboard, do away with any lingering Halloween candy, and organize the goodies from yesterday.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Our Spring Break

It's the first day after spring break. The older kids are back at school. The youngest has been falling apart all day. I didn't get enough sleep last night. And the other girls only had a very light day of schoolwork today (another nice benefit to homeschool!) But the fun of spring break and the memories made are worth it.
We made a plan this year to actually do something over the break. I made up a calendar with a list next to it of things we wanted to do, and then we plugged activities into the dates.
So it started with skating for one girl and her friends; and I took the other girls to the new movie "Cinderella". We all really really liked it!
There was the requisite trip to the library to stock up on books for free time.
And the cousins came for a three day visit - which included a fun time at the carousel.
After they went home we joined some friends for a trip to the Oregon Trail museum in Oregon City. It was interesting to see the size of the wagons pioneers used to travel.
Little K and her friend spent some time "packing" up their wagon.
The Boy and his buddies goofed around a bit ...
This buggy fascinated me. It is an actual one that came on the trail in the 19th century. The seats are so skinny - I don't think my husband and I could fit together on one bench.
After touring the museum we had lunch outside; the boys just couldn't get away from the technology. While the girls ate and ran around, the boys huddled over a device.
One of the cool activities the kids got to do at the museum is make their own candle by dipping a wick in to hot wax, then cool water; back and forth until a candle stick was formed.
A bit of shopping during the week, and then we were off to the beach. We happened to pick the day that was cold and windy. But it was the day the Mr. had off, so we went. It didn't rain on us until we were leaving to go home. My sister pointed us to a new-to-us beach, which was basically deserted. We had a fun time running and walking along the shore, finding treasures. We picked up numerous shells and even whole (!) sand dollars


There were rocks to climb and pools to wade in (even though the water was freezing!!)
Here are a few of the treasures we found:

We ended our week with a birthday party for a friend, and having some relatives over for supper.
And a nap.
It was a lovely break from school; and a fun time to spend with family.