Wednesday, December 31, 2008
On April 25, Jimmy is running a FULL MARATHON and Olivia is running another half marathon in Nashville. This is a huge race.....45,000 participants! Julie is too young to race (you must be 12), and I am going to keep the children myself, so Julie and I will not be participating. Our whole family is going to Nashville for the event. Julie, Clay, Leah, Sam, and I will be at the finish line to welcome Olivia and Jimmy.
Julie and I are going to train with Olivia. I began the program today, and they will begin the 16 week training schedule next Monday. We are following a different running schedule than the one we followed for the St. Jude Half in December. This one has about the same amount of weekly mileage (16-28), and it also increases the weekly mileage in very small increments, about 1-2 miles each week. The difference is in the division of the miles during the week. We will still run 4 days a week with optional cross training on a 5th day. Our previous schedule had us running basically 4-5 miles 3 times a week with a long run once a week. This new schedule has two short runs (2-3 miles each), one medium run (5-10 miles each), and one long run (7-12 miles each). So we will alternate--short, medium, short, long. This first week the runs are 2,5,2,7.
When I typed up the running schedule and taped it to the pantry door, anxiety set in. Just looking at all of those medium and long runs caused me significant stress! I started thinking about what will I do with Leah and Sam during those long runs? What about school? What about this new homeschool co op we are joining this semester? What if it is freezing rain, and I have to run 10 miles on the treadmill? Then I stopped and remembered how I did it last fall....one week at a time, one day at a time. The big picture is overwhelming, but day by day it seems manageable.
The Saturday after the marathon/half marathon in Nashville, Julie, Clay, and I (and also Jimmy and Olivia if they are up to it) are going to run the Corinth Coke Classic 10 K. I am hoping that training with Olivia will allow both Julie and me to run our personal best times in that race.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Monday: shrimp spaghetti, salad
Tuesday: baked chicken, baked sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli
Wednesday: chicken strips, ranch dip, cream cheese with pepper jelly and crackers (New Year's party at Lynn's house after church service)
Thursday: poppy seed chicken, brown rice, green beans
Friday: out of town (Russ and Megan's house) Jimmy is running a half marathon in Jackson on Saturday morning.
Saturday: homemade pizza
Sunday: taco soup
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Each year on Christmas Eve, we give the children one gift to open. It is always new, matching pajamas. They look forward to this each year, and they all try to guess what they will look like.
We visit our extended families and exchange gifts with them before Christmas Day. (I forgot my camera when we celebrated Christmas with Jimmy's family!! Hopefully Russ and Megan will make me a disc of the pictures they took so I can scrapbook and blog!) Visit Megan's blog to see pictures of us at Granmomma's and Pop's.
On Christmas Day we spend the entire day at home in our pajamas! Jimmy and I do not get new pajamas each year, but we do have Christmas themed pjs that we wear for the occasion. The children awaken fairly early (this year we said, "Do not call us before 6:30 a.m.!"), and come down the stairs all together to see what Santa Claus brought them. At our house, Santa leaves one item for each child plus a stocking full of candy and small items......nail clippers, key chains, stickers, lotion, etc. The children, Jimmy, and I spend the next few hours opening presents (the gifts that we give each other) at a leisurely pace. I prepare the same breakfast each year: egg and sausage casserole and monkey bread. I fix the casserole on Christmas Eve, but usually have to prepare the monkey bread on Christmas morning. This year, however, my grandmother gave us homemade monkey bread for our Christmas gift. It was delicious, and all I had to do was reheat it in the oven. Yum! Our traditional Christmas lunch was grilled steak for many years. Last year I decided to do something different--soups. I also served two different soups this year (chicken gumbo and cheesy chicken stew), but Jimmy and the children very politely informed me that they really preferred the steak dinner instead! We rarely eat steak and often eat soup, so I agreed to reinstate the previous years' Christmas dinner. The rest of the day is spent enjoying our new gifts---playing lots of legos and games.
Now that this wonderful holiday season is over, I will be moving to my next project that I usually tackle this time of year: CLEANING OUT AND ORGANIZING. I will be offering regular tips about this subject.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Hash Brown Potato Casserole
1 32 oz bag or 2 20 oz. bags of frozen shredded hash browns with onions and peppers, thawed
1 stick butter, melted
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp. salt.
Mix all ingredients. Put into a 9 x 13 baking dish and bake for 1 hour at 350.
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. groung nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 can solid pack pumpkin
Blend all ingredients using a mixer. Put into a greased bundt pan. Bake for one hour at 350.
1 Pillsbury German Chocolate Cake mix (get Pillsbury, it does matter)
1/2 container caramel apple dip
1 & 1/2 sticks melted butter
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 cup (1/2 12 oz. bag) chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
Combine cake mix, butter, milk, and pecans. Press 1/2 mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake at 350 8 minutes. Microwave the caramel dip to soften. Sprinkle chocolate chips over cake. Drizzle apple dip on top. Use your fingers to blob the rest of the cake mixture in little blobs on top. Bake 20 minutes. Cool well before cutting.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Amanda and Davis
Thursday, December 18, 2008
What a party! The theme was "food and fellowship"! We ate lots of good food (everyone brought an appetizer or dessert) and spent the evening visiting. The younger children ran all over the house, and the older ones played outside in the barn. We haven't seen some of Jimmy's family since our Christmas party last year. It was fun to catch up and see how much the children had grown.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 can tomato soup
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup Hellman's mayo
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp. garlic salt
Mix all ingredients using a mixer. Bake at 350 until hot throughout, about 30 minutes. Serve with wheat thins.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Breakfast: eggs, bacon, toast
Lunch: leftover homemade pizza
Supper: tacos, nachos, Mexican rice
Breakfast: pigs in blankets
Lunch: leftover tacos, sandwiches
Supper: chicken and dumplings, peas
Breakfast: whole wheat waffles, bacon
Lunch: leftover chicken and dumplings, sandwiches
Supper: vegetable soup, breadsticks
Breakfast: eggs, bacon, biscuits
Lunch: leftover soup, grilled cheese
Supper: Johnson Christmas Party! (at my house) Everyone brings an appetizer or dessert. I am making Neiman Marcus cookies, bumpie cookies, rice krispie goodies, seasoned oyster crackers, peppermint cookies, and hot chicken dip
Breakfast: cereal, oatmeal
Lunch: chicken roll ups
Supper: spaghetti, salad
Breakfast: whole wheat waffles, bacon
Lunch: Simmons Christmas Dinner! (at my brother's house) I am bringing salad with crunchy romaine and walnut topping, Deeply Almond Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting, and bread
Breakfast: cereal, oatmeal
Lunch: pasta salad
Supper: leftovers, cereal
I serve fresh fruit and raw vegetables every day with our lunch. Our snacks include fruit, crackers, cheese, peanut butter, yogurt, cereal, and popcorn.
Friday, December 12, 2008
In the top part of our "fort" in the backyard.
Earlier this week Julie got glasses! I took all three older children for an eye exam, and Julie was diagnosed as being near-sighted. This does not surprise me at all. I am practically blind, and have been since age 9. I am only surprised that one my children has not needed glasses before now. Julie is getting used to wearing the glasses, and I think she was amazed at what she was missing!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Before the concert, we went out to eat supper. Jimmy took Clay, Leah, and Sam to Chuck E. Cheese's for pizza and games. He reported that Sam was so excited to be there, that he could hardly eat! When we got home at 11:00 last night, Jimmy and all 3 children were sound asleep.
What a fun night!
Sunday, December 7, 2008
I did it! I completed my first half marathon! I finished in 2 hours, 11 minutes! I was very pleased with my time. Everyone in our group did extremely well, all of us meeting our time goals. Here are the times: Jimmy--1:45; Forrest--1:33; Olivia--1:58; Julie--1:57.
Yes! It was absolutely freezing! 31 degrees at the start of the race. We stayed in the van and then inside the Peabody Place until the last possible moment. I got cold waiting for my wave to start the race (about 2 minutes per wave, I started in wave 9), but as soon as I began running, I was fine. In fact, I didn't get cold again until the race was over. Sitting outside in wet running clothes was pretty chilly!
Running with 11,000 other runners was exciting. I enjoyed reading the backs of everyone's shirts as well as the signs the spectators held on the side of the streets. Some signs were encouraging, and some were just plain funny! My favorite sign read, "You are all Crazy!"
We invited Forrest to join our family and run the race with us. He was a delight to have along. Forrest is a fellow homeschooler and member of the Spartan Homeschool Cross Country Team. We enjoyed each other's company throughout the weekend.
I am so happy that I have met this goal that I set for myself. Will I run another half-marathon? Sure, but not anytime soon. The time required to train, plus the logistics of arranging for child care for Leah, Sam, and Clay (who is not old enough to participate in a half marathon) for the weekend of the race, is a little too much for me to do on a regular basis. I would like to complete one or maybe two half marathons a year. Will I ever run a full marathon? Not any time soon (like in the next 10 years!) or ever! At mile 12.5, the marathoners split off from us half-marathoners. As they ran to the left, and we ran to the right, I was thinking how glad I was that I was almost through, not almost halfway through. At that point I said to myself that I would NEVER run a full marathon. But never say never! Who knows what I may do when all of my children are teenagers and older!
I am so grateful to my parents for driving to my home and keeping Clay, Leah, and Sam for the weekend. I was a little nervous about leaving Sam overnight again, but he did super. In fact, my mother said that he never once asked for me or his pacifier, and he never cried! That was great! As soon as I walked in the door however, he ran to me, took my ponytail out, and asked for his "ba-ba" (pacifier)! He hugged and kissed me, and he told me that he missed me. Then he layed his head on my shoulder and promptly went to sleep. He was worn out from all of the fun!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
When we moved to this house (Jan. 05), somehow the Christmas book storage container was misslabled and missplaced. The first Christmas in our new house was celebrated without our Christmas books! I was distraught! Where could those books be? I bought some new Christmas books that year, but not enough for the children to unwap one each day. Just enough for us to read and enjoy that December. For two Christmases we did not have our Christmas books. Then, one summer when I was cleaning out my storage containers, I found them! They had been misslabled! Hooray!
Somewhere along the way I have stopped wrapping those 60+ books. Now, on the first day of December, I just get them out of storage and put them in two large baskets in our den. The children love reading the books from those baskets each day. Leah and Sam choose from the Christmas book basket for books for me to read to them at bedtime. I choose longer ones to read aloud to the children each morning. And of course throughout the day I read whatever book is brought to me by Leah or Sam, Christmas book or not.