Monday, September 26, 2011

I Finished!

This weekend I completed my first Half Marathon. I signed up for the Bellingham Bay Half Marathon. I used to be a runner but had not been running for a long time. My good friend and Chiropractor, Dana, challenged me to train for it.

Syndi met us at the starting line and was our number one fan all the way through the whole race! She taught her son exactly what a woman wants as far as encouragement and support go.
I have never been part of a race this big. I was surprised when I went to pick up my race packet how many people and vendors were there.

The longest I have run during our training was 12 miles. Dana is the perfect partner for me because during one of our long training runs she directed us to turn down a specific street. I asked why we needed to go that way and she sheepishly replied, "Because there is a garage sale." We paused our training and did a little shopping.

I am used to running with my iPhone and it tells me distance and time but I did not want to wear it during my run because the arm band chafes. It was really difficult for me, not knowing how far we were or what our pace was. Eventually (mile 5) we figured out where the mile markers were and compared that to how long we had been running. I was pleased to discover that we averaged a 10.5 minute mile! Faster than any of our training and without any pauses for garage sales.

The children made us signs, I really wish I would have gotten a picture of them with the signs. I loved Aaron's it read: "Go Carolynn! Run, Run, Run, Love, Your Son!"
The last mile was by far the hardest. When I rounded the last turn and saw how far away the finish line was I almost cried. I had great visions of finishing strong and sprinting across the finish. I really wanted to quit or cry but all the people cheering us and Dana telling me I could do it, I did!
It felt like the finish just kept getting farther away and I was never going to get there.

Despite the massive wind and adrenaline rush from the night before with no sleep and not having actually run 13.1 miles before I did it!

It was super fun to have my family, my mom and Kimberly, Dana's family and lots of people I knew along the way cheering for us. Several times I heard people cheering for me and Dana would ask how I knew that person, every time it was because I had been their Doula. It was pretty amazing to me how many of them were there.

I got hugs and congrats from my children. They were especially impressed with my Medal. They want me to wear it everyday, which I happily oblige. Although Erik prayed that I would get first, or second, maybe even third I was thankful that I completed it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Random Quotes

The other day when Taylor and I were shopping I commented that I needed to look for a new waffle iron. She replied, "Why would you want to iron your waffles?"

We were at the checkout at the grocery store and Ruby looked like she was hula-hooping with an imaginary hula hoop. She turned to Ian and said, "I like to keep moving that way people know the world is still spinning."

I enjoy seeing how their minds work and I LOVE being able to witness when they make the connection between what we have learned and the world around them.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Science With Noah

Last week we read about Noah and the Flood. Did you know it took Noah 120 years to build the Ark? The Ark was built in the middle of a desert, and it had never rained on Earth before.

Prior to the flood, the earth was watered with a mist and from the deep. We converted cubits to feet and then went out in the field to measure 450 feet, the length of the Ark.

The weather has turned from our beautiful Indian Summer to a crisp fall.  I admit I was not looking forward to leaving the warmth and cozy feeling inside, but once we went out it felt wonderful. The fresh air and imminent feeling of a storm brewing was just what my soul needed.

See the little white fence in the background? It is 450 feet from where I am standing.  Hard to imagine what it must have been like for Noah to build something so huge in the middle of the desert. I think about the ridicule he must have had to endure and the faith he had in God to continue with such an outrageous request. And I was relieved that we didn't have to climb under any barbed wire or electric fences!

Often it is difficult for me to make the extra effort to actually go and do these types of projects because they don't seem worth it. I can see that it brings to life the things we are studying and is good for all of us.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Lotta Things We Don't Do

This Summer seemed to be full of a lot of things we just don't do.
We don't send our kids to camp. This summer I co-led a group of 12 cub scouts for a week long twilight camp. Twilight camp is day camp in the evening. After the first 10 minutes I wanted out!
Erik with his 'Target' from BB Shooting
We stuck it out because of the commitment I made to lead. I gave my children the option of not going but earning the BB Shooting and Archery belt loops and sports pins were very important to them.  Aaron helped out in the kitchen and enjoyed getting to eat.
I realized it was not just my own personal hell but that I could bless these other children and my children made a good impression on others.
However, at the end of camp one of the other leaders said that she hopes to see me next year. I said we would NEVER be back, but that it was nice to meet her.

We also don't send our children to camp. Aaron and Sean went to Camp Pigott with Aaron's Boy Scout Troop of a week this summer.  Thankfully, This camp was 1,000 times better than twilight camp.
The boys were with their patrol the entire time and learned a lot of useful skills. That is definitely something we will do again.
I also never take 3 births a month and this summer I had 3 births every month! Each one was a blessing and a miracle and I feel privileged to participate. It was a lot of time away from my family and both physically and mentally exhausting!
We had an amazing summer! Some are things we want to do again, others we will just skip.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Under My Belt

Huge sigh of relief, We have the first week of school under our belt! I was really struggling with the decision of whether or not to finish what we did not complete last year (due to the move) or start fresh and begin our new curiculum.
I am happy to say we started with our new material. I did not want to be bogged down trying to finish.
We are doing My Father's World Creation To The Greeks.

I like to celebrate the beginning of the year with something special that we can look forward to. Last year, Syndi and I took the children to Starbucks and Haggen for donuts. Ruby puked everywhere and it was rather spendy. We opted to invite Ben and Syndi over and have a fabulous morning of donuts, hot cocoa, bacon, eggs, and of course, coffee for the adults.

It was extra special for Erik and Taylor since I allowed them to eat the donuts even though they are gluten-free. Sacrifices must be made for the sake of memories. I daresay they were all happy campers.
They were even more excited that they were able to play after and work on their forts in the woods.

Our studies this year include God and the History of Art. Lesson 1 was a Lesson in Frustration. Ruby and Erik were in tears and Taylor was pretty close to it. Liberty, Ian and Aaron loved the challenge of drawing a butterfly using only their teeth.

I participated as well, but I must confess that putting the pencil in my mouth made me gag, and my butterfly was not nearly as good as the children's.

We will also be Celebrating Biblical Feasts so much of our first week included preparation for Celebrating the Sabbath. The meal was amazing! We made Challa Bread and Golden Yoich Soup and enjoyed it with wine and grape juice.
The meal has a very sacred feel to it complete with silver candlesticks, white candles, fine linen, and our good dishes.
My favorite part of the meal was the youngest son, Ian, washing everyone's hands and Sean placing his hands on the children and praying a blessing for them.

He also prayed Proverbs 31 for me.
The book we used, Celebrating Biblical Feasts by Martha Zimmerman provided us with the meaning of all the elements, recipes, prayers and crafts. I highly recommend it. We will be celebrating the Sabbath again along with some other feasts.

All of the children worked on a covering for the Challa Bread but Taylor is the only one to complete hers! She stitched the entire thing in a few short days! This, from my daughter who says she isn't crafty (don't tell her that is a craft!)

We also enjoyed 2 wonderful days at our beach. Once by ourselves and the next with lots of friends! Click over to Rene's blog to see some photos!
We had company for dinner one night and went to our friends The Hollister's for an amazing party based on the book, The Great Horn Spoon by Sid Fleishman. We panned for gold, had a treasure hunt, threw pick axes, hit pinatas that looked like bags of gold, had the most amazing food!! I love potlucks! enjoyed rootbeer floats, made new friends and saw longtime friends. It was my perfect kind of day.
I would say we had a pretty productive first week of school. Let's keep up the momentum.