Friday, October 24, 2014

"Training" So Far

So, I am in about the fourth month of training for my half marathon in February.  I know they have a couch to 1/2 in like 12 weeks or something.  But, I have learned, for me, it is important to go super slow.  I am still working on a 10K.  But, that is OK.  The one week I did four miles pretty fast, under a 10 minute mile and I couldn't walk for about 3 days.  The only thing I can think of, is that I just went way too fast.  I took it really slow for the rest of the week.  Ran the 4 miles again the next Saturday and didn't hurt at all.

Somethings I have learned or just want to share:

-Mondays are hard.  I am sluggish.

-When the sun is coming up among the clouds I can't help but picture Jesus, coming back, riding on those     clouds. (I have seen some spectacular sunrises.)

-I am a firm believer that the days I walk for strength and endurance really help in being able to run much better for longer distances.

-Apparently muscles take up more space than flab.  I put on a pair of jeans the other day only to find them    tight.  Not what I was expecting.

-I have a deathly fear of stray/loose dogs.  I see one at least once a week.  And I have called hubby more than once to come and scare the dogs away.  I carry this ridiculous stick with me when I run.  Hubby says it won't do a thing to protect me.  I say it will buy me time and it is kind of like a security blanket.

-Just like everything else in life, we make time for what we think is important.  And right now, running kind of is important for me.  I get up crazy early, have my quiet time and off I go.  There are many days where it is super, super hard.  And the last thing I want to do before the sun comes up is lace up my shoes.  But, I am serious about this for a bunch of good/different reasons.

-My kids have been phenomenal.  If they wake up before I get home, they either get started on their stuff for the day or just lay peacefully on the couch.  I have my running schedule worked out so that my long days are at the end of the week and have less interference with school.

-I never thought a 2 mile run would be a short day.

-I didn't realize that I would have to do additional/different types of exercises to tone different parts of my lower body.  That will have to be next year's project.

-Hubby sometimes shows up part way through my exercising.  He likes to talk.  I can barely breathe.

-Heart muscles develop faster than leg muscles.  So, even though I feel like I can run more because I can breathe, I really need to stop because my leg muscles don't start screaming until I am done.  And then it is too late.

-This past Saturday I ran 5 miles.  Tomorrow I am to run 5.5.

-I have met a neighbor who also runs the same time I do.  We ask each other how far we are running for the day.  It is kind of encouraging.

-My first and probably only race before the 1/2 will be a Turkey Trot with me and my big girls.

I think that is it for now.  I am so glad I started this.  So thankful for friends and family who encourage and grateful to God for a body that can still run at this age. . .

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Start 'Em Young

Every month we try to go shooting.  The three bigger kids have been doing it for over a year now.  When I mentioned to EG that we were going shooting again, she had a fit.  She did not want to go.  It is hard for her.  There usually is no one out there her age.  And we are there for a couple of hours.  She has to be so careful where she goes.  And she has to wear eye and ear protection.  Sometimes it is hot and buggy.  Well, you get the picture.

So, when she voiced the fact that she didn't want to go, I mentioned that maybe, just maybe she could shoot this time.  It would depend on daddy and on the rules of the range.  I had asked once before and the gentlemen that run the range said usually around 6.  Just because of the ability to concentrate and the ability to follow directions etc.

As much of a handful as EG is sometimes, I knew if shooting was something she wanted to do, she would do what she needed to do to make it happen.  And I was right!  She wanted to shoot.  Hubby said fine.  As did the men at the range.

She did awesome!  It took a little bit for her to actually hit the target but ya gotta start some where.  She was patient and attentive.  She listened and didn't argue.  By the time we were done, I think she had hit about four targets.

(EG listening intently to all of the safety rules.)

I don't know if she will be interested in shooting.  Or any good at it.  But, she definitely got the best start possible.  And she has the very best teacher . . . 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Boop's Birthday Continued

It isn't unusual in our house to celebrate a birthday for over a week.  

About a week before Boop's birthday, daddy arranged with his brother to take Boop and his two friends (and one other dad) out to fish.  The boys spent the night and had to get up at 6AM.  I went to wake them and they were already up!  Think they were just a little bit excited to go fishing!

They had a blast and stayed out most of the day.  Each boy caught at least one fish.  And one of Boop's friends actually caught a keeper!  They had big fun but were super exhausted when they got home.

We then had a family birthday on the actual night of his birthday.  Everyone was here.  Even a great aunt from Wisconsin!  Sissy bought him some football gear and we got him a football.  Isn't he adorable?!?!  I just love his smile.

He got a couple of gifts he really, really liked.  As evidenced on his face.  He got a great Lego toy and the Lego movie.

He is such a super sweet kid.  Thankful my little man . . . 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New Digs

In the middle of summer, we finally got around to updating and refreshing Boop's room.  I am not sure how long it had been since his walls had a fresh coat of paint!

Awhile ago one of Boop's friend's dad made him a loft bed.  It actually hangs from the ceiling I think.  Anyway, Boop loved it and wanted one of his own.  It actually made sense for us to do it in his room because it would give him a ton more floor space.

So, while we were painting his room a nice taupe, daddy went ahead and made him a loft bed too.  It is super high and I was a little nervous at first about him being up so far up there.  But, it has been a couple of months now and it has worked like a charm.

We still have bookshelves to make and a little reading nook.  Not to mention a place to put all of his Legos.  Hopefully we will have it done by the time he graduates from high school.

An additional benefit is, EG got a real bed in the girls' room.  Which she loves.  It is a little tight in there but it looks nice and every one seems happy.

The big girls are talking about redoing their room.  We shall see.  First things first, we still need to make a ladder for Boop to get up in his bed . . .

(The bed on the bottom is now EG's.  And hubby built a nice looking wooden side so Boop won't roll out.  And right now he uses a utility ladder to get up and down.)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Away She Goes

So, EG had been teasing her daddy for about 2 weeks to take the training wheels off of her bike.  She wanted to ride her bike without training wheels.  We knew once they came off, it would take a little work to get her to ride.  We told her when the wheels came off she could only ride with a helmet on, in the back yard, until she learned how to ride it without falling.

Finally, about a week ago, on a Saturday, daddy finally had time to take the training wheels off.  We had been gone most of the day.  When we got home I told her that the wheels were off.  She was super excited.  She went right into the backyard and picked up her bike and got on it.  I didn't have a chance, right at that moment, to help her out.

A few minutes later, Boop comes in and says EG is riding her bike.  And sure enough she was.  Apparently Boop held the bike for her so she could get on and get started and then gave her a little shove and off she went!  She was riding like a champ within a few minutes.  She was riding all over the backyard.  Boop took a video but I can't seem to load it on my computer to include it in the blog.

The next day, we took her out on the road and she did fabulous.  I would like to say that we had a part in it, but that would not be the truth.  Boop saved the day!  It was all him.

The both accomplished a lot that day . . .

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Beach, Besties and Bugs

Some time during the late spring, I had this idea to go camping during the beginning of the up coming school year.  Just me and the kids.  To kind of take our show on the road.  Do what we do.  Just some where else.

My goal was to have hubby drop us off at a beach campground about 2 hours away.  Leave us down there for a bunch of days and we would do school and life and then he would come pick us up on his next day off. 

I shared the idea with a couple of my friends and our "school fall camping trip" was born.  Our three families, 15 in all minus husbands, spent a few days at the beach, camping and doing school and life.  It was an experience to say the least.

My friends went down on a Wednesday.  The hubbies helped set up and then went home.  As it turns out, the bugs were super, super bad.  So, when I came down the following day, I had to buy 11 extra bottles of bug spray.  Bad, bad bugs!

It was decided, that to avoid the bug problem, we would have a plan of how our days would go.  And the plan went something like this:  breakfast inside, when the sun came out and the morning heated up which would make the mosquitoes go away, the kids would play.  Then about mid-morning we would go to the beach until early afternoon.  We would come back, eat lunch, do some school and then let the kids play. Dinner would be early to beat the bugs before dusk and then we would head to the beach for sunset.  We would play at the beach again until bath time.  And then we all come back, get cleaned and go to bed.  Or at least hang out in our campers.  The bugs were so bad that we couldn't really be out after sunset.

We went out to eat one night and had ice cream another day.  One day the waves were so big that the kids got to basically surf on their boogie boards.  The boys did a lot of bike riding and exploring.  

It wasn't exactly how I envisioned it.  But, I think it worked out well all the same.  The kids had fun.  We got to see lots of nature.  Crabs, snakes, a racoon that was not the least bit afraid of us.  And bugs.  Lots and lots of bugs.

I am glad we did the trip.  And we learned a lot about camping without husbands.  It was an experience and it definitely was a memory maker.  I think next time it will be in the mountains.  Maybe somewhere cooler and definitely a place not quite so buggy. . .

Sunday, October 5, 2014


I am not sure if I have posted about this or not.  We have a great gun safety shooting program in town.  A bunch of older gentlemen who belong to the NRA put on a monthly free shooting class for kids of all ages.  Some friends of ours told us about it about a year ago.  And every second Saturday of the month, if we don't have anything else scheduled, we spend the morning at the shooting range.

The gentlemen are so patient and willing to work with the kids.  They stress gun safety and they don't tolerate bad behavior or poor attitudes.  But they love watching the kids grow in their shooting skills and they are very encouraging.

It is very family friendly environment.  I have been out with all four kids, at least once, by myself, and have felt totally safe and comfortable.  EG will be able to start shooting in about a month if her daddy is there to help her.

The great thing is, the kids get awards for achieving certain skill levels.  When they master certain skills they get to move to the next level.  They get certificates and medals and they are to pin them on a shooting vest.

We are really very thankful to have found this program.  And very grateful to the gentlemen who are willing to give up their time and their talents to help all our kids . . .