Monday, March 30, 2009

It Runs in the Family!

Running, that is! As I was running today, the thought popped into my head that a whole lot of my family members (and real life friends too) are runners! How exciting is that? While we seldom, if ever, actually run together, I still feel the companionship.
Here is the roster.....if the person's name appears in a different color, you can click on their name and visit their blog. If I left out a family member or friend, please leave me a comment....and please forgive me!

1. Mary Margaret (sister in law)--she has been running much longer than I have!
2. Amanda (sister in law)--she and my brother Rhett have been running for a while now. They also have 2 small children to push in a jogging stroller.
3. Megan (sister in law)--the newest running member of the family! Megan is training with her husband Russ, Jimmy's brother.
4. Jenny (sister in law)--she has been running for a little while now too.
5. My daddy--we gave Daddy running shoes and a book about beginning to run after the age of 50 for Christmas. He started his walking program immediately! I am so proud of him. He is jogging some now too, and he hopes to complete a 5K this summer.
6. Leanna (cousin in law)--I am not sure that she has gotten back to running after the birth of her 4th baby, but she was running before she got pregnant.
7. Stacee (cousin in law)--she ran the Race For the Cure with me, and we both ran the St. Jude Half Marathon. She and her husband Mark will be joining Olivia for the Country Music City Half Marathon in April
8. Lynn (friend)--she began running last fall, and completed her 2nd 5K last Saturday. Lynn, Megan, Jenny, and I are all running a 5K on April 18th.
9. Heather (friend)--has run the longest of us all! She is almost a professional! She ran cross country in college, and is currently the coach of our homeschool cross country team, the Spartans.
10. Lindsay (friend)--another new runner, but she is doing great!
11. Julie (friend)--I met Julie last fall. Her children run with the Spartans too. Julie has probably been running longer than I have too.

I would love to add you to this list of family and friends who run! Join us!

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For today...

Outside my window... the sun is shining and my newly planted flowers are actually growing!

I am thinking... today marks the beginning of a very busy week!

From the learning rooms... Clay is already downstairs working on his school assignments! Today begins our last push of school until summer break. I think we have 6-7 weeks left. In history, we are studying the southwest states of the U.S. this week.

I am thankful loving husband and children.

From the kitchen... I will put a roast and vegetables in the crock pot. We are having chocolate chip and blueberry muffins for breakfast. Lunch will be leftovers or sandwiches.

I am wearing... khaki pants, orange and pink t shirts

I am reading... Just Around the Corner Part 2 by Teri Maxwell. I will begin a new read aloud with the children in a few minutes, the last book in The Indian in the Cupboard series.

I am hoping...that I find time this week to finish organizing and storing my loose photos.

I am creating...a plan for putting a computer in our storage/project room. I have to clean out and reorganize this room, and then pick a good place for the computer and its desk.

I am hearing...Sam talking to me while he is climbing all over me while I type this post!

Around the house...we will resume our regular chores and housekeeping schedule after a week off from our routine due to spring break.

One of my favorite things...hugs from my children

A few plans for the rest of the lessons for the children, monthly Walmart shopping; art lessons for the children on Wednesday and Thursday; Wednesday--church; Friday--visiting with friends. We will also be running 4 days this week, and I will run 11 miles with Olivia on Saturday. I also plan to finish going through all of my stored clothes to see what Leah can wear this spring/summer.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Visit the The Simple Woman's Daybook for more journal entries.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring Break Friday and Saturday

Yesterday we traveled to Memphis after lunch. We visited the Children's Museum as soon as we arrived in town. The children all had a wonderful time. The museum always has a "new" traveling exhibit. This time it was a China exhibit. Leah enjoyed make believe cooking in this exhibit with her sisters. I think Sam's favorite part was the Home Building area. He played there for about an hour. He really likes tools!
Here are some highlights.

After the museum we ate supper then went to my favorite store, Target. It is always fun for the whole family to go to Target (we don't have one in our area). I bought a new purse! I have been needing a new purse for some time now. I wanted one big enough to carry all of my stuff, and I wanted lots of pockets both inside and out.

Today was our first race of the season, the Pontotoc Ridge Run 5K. Julie, Clay, and I participated. Jimmy, Olivia, Leah, and Sam watched and cheered us all on. Jimmy and Olivia are training for the Country Music City Marathon (Jimmy) and Half Marathon (Olivia) on April 25, so they did not race today. Instead, this afternoon they ran their long runs for this week's training. Jimmy ran 23.6 miles, and Olivia ran 11.6 miles.

At the race Jimmy took numerous pictures!  But they are on our new computer, and I cannot figure out how to make each picture a smaller file so it won't take all night to upload them!  I will add them to this post hopefully the meantime, visit Lynn's blog for a few pictures of the rainy day.  

This was an exciting day for the children because many of their Spartan (homeschool cross country team) team mates ran in the race too. They all had such a fun time!

My dear friend Lynn ran too! I was so proud of her. This was only her second 5K race, and she did great! She ran 2 minutes faster than her first 5K! Her whole family was there to cheer her on, and welcome her across the finish line. She even won a medal!

Two years ago the Ridge Run was my very first 5K. I had just begun running/walking, and I was pushing Leah and Sam (then 3 and 1) in the double jogging stroller. My time at that very first 5K race was 38 minutes. Then last year in the same race my time was 26:14. This year my time was 25:58! I was so happy! That is my second best 5K time ever! (My PR is 25:33). This is a very hilly course. It has a few long hills, and the last big hill is at the end of the race. This race course is also used for another 5K race that we run in August, so this is actually my 5th time to run this course. It is much more pleasant in March than August!

Julie won 1st place in the Women's 10-14, Clay won 3rd place in the Men's 10-14 (his first time to compete in this age group), and I won 1st place in the Women's 35-39! Hippee! Hooray! (as Sam says!) Julie was also the 2nd overall female finisher! Go Julie!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Clay!

Happy Birthday Clay!
Today sweet Clay is 10! We have had a fun filled day celebrating with Clay. The day began with 4 sleepy children watching Clay opening his presents, which were mostly Legos.
Julie and the birthday boy
Sam helping Clay open his presents
sleepy Olivia and Lilly
Sweet brothers
After Clay opened his gifts we had a yummy pancake breakfast. I decorated the table with a Lego theme. All of the children were happily surprised by the table!
While everyone was waiting for me to cook the pancakes, they built things out of the Legos that were on the table.
Can you see the letters C L A Y that Clay constructed?

Leah built an airplane

Clay requested that we travel to Shiloh National Park for a family bike ride for his birthday. Jimmy loaded all 7 bicycles and the little wagon for Leah and Sam to ride in while I packed us a picnic lunch. We drove to the park and arrived just in time for lunch. After about a 7 mile bike ride we repacked the van and truck and headed home.

When we got home from Shiloh, we all sang Happy Birthday to Clay and enjoyed delicious dirt cake. My pictures of Clay blowing out his candles are on another camera. I will add those later!
To end the day, our family had to go separate ways. Tonight was our local homeschool group's annual Father/Daughter Banquet. Jimmy took the girls to this special event, while I took Clay and Sam to CiCi's pizza (Clay's request!).
We also went to Walmart for Clay to spend some of his birthday money. He bought a new Razor Scooter (his old one was run over by the tractor or backhoe or the truck.....something like that.....I can't remember.) Anyway, he decided to replace it.
Our family came back together about 9:00 p.m., and we all watched the American Idol results before going to bed.
What a fun-filled day!
Happy Birthday Clay!

I'm Famous! Thanks to "Raising Olives"!

Today I am featured on the blog, Raising Olives. My new internet friend, Kimberly, interviewed me asking questions about my life and why I am a blogger. Please visit Raising Olives to read the entire interview. You may learn a little bit more about me, and while you are there, please look around Kimberly's blog. I have enjoyed reading her blog, and I know that you will too!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Break Tuesday

We spent all day Tuesday out in the yard. The beautiful weather encouraged us to keep on even when we were exhausted. In fact, it started raining not soon after we finally finished! We unloaded, shoveled, and spread two trailer-fulls of mulch (we had already put out one trailer-full Monday). The children planted about 100 petunias and job was laying them where I wanted them planted, and they did the work. Jimmy transplanted two shrubs and then planted two pretty azaleas. He also finished trimming the shrubs, and then we all cleaned up the debris. We finished our day with a family run at the track. It rained for the first few minutes while we ran, then it cleared off. Here are some pictures from the busy day!

Sam spent most of the day digging and rolling around in the mulch.
The dogs doing what they do best!
Leah planting a flower
Sam and Leah taking a break
Olivia and Sam in the mulch trailer
Clay working hard
Julie mulching the transplanted shrub

Here are some pictures of the finished flower beds.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Break Monday

We began our first day of Spring Break by sleeping late. All seven of us! Next we enjoyed a big breakfast at 10:00. The rest of the day was spent working in the yard. We cleaned off the back porch (Olivia spent one hour cleaning and polishing the gas grill---it looks brand new!). Jimmy, Clay, and Julie washed the back windows and cleaned the blades of the outdoor ceiling fans. We weeded, pruned, trimmed, planted, and mulched all day. The backyard flower beds are completely done.
After finishing our yard work for the day we all headed to the local walking/running track. Jimmy actually ran to the track (taking a planned detour on the way so he could get all of his mileage in). The rest of us drove to the track. Julie and Clay ran speed intervals (preparing for the first race of this year this coming Saturday), Olivia and I ran 5 miles, and Jimmy joined us at the track to complete his 13 mile run. Leah and Sam enjoyed playing on the newly completed playground at the track. I am so happy that they built this playground! Leah and Sam are so much happier while we run now that they have the new playground. I can see them from every part of the track, so I can keep an eye on them.
After running we had a "healthy" supper at McDonalds, and then we bought brightly colored annuals from Walmart to plant tomorrow.
We hope to finish our yardwork tomorrow because rain is in the forecast for the next few days after that.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Menu Monday

I went to both Sam's and Kroger this weekend, and I think I bought enough groceries to last us at least 3 weeks! I will still have to purchase milk and some fresh fruit probably once, but the bulk of the shopping has been done! I will repeat some of the suppers to make the groceries last 3+ weeks. I am trying to work towards shopping at Sam's once a month, and Kroger once or twice a month. I already go to Walmart only once a month (for non-food items).

My shopping plans may be changing in the future! I had two friends (Jennifer and Lynn) over Friday, and Jennifer inspired Lynn and me to start using coupons. Jennifer is saving major money by using coupons and sale papers! She went to a class taught by two of our local money savers and coupon queens, Anita and Penny. I used to use coupons, but stopped several years ago. It just seemed like too much trouble to save $5, and I found that I was not finding coupons for items that I already actually used. But Jennifer has opened my eyes to a whole new world of coupon clipping and saving money! I even ordered two sets of coupons from ebay! So, as I learn more about this coupon business, and as I hopefully begin to save money, I will post my success!

Here is the menu:


grilled chicken, corn, green beans, salad
chicken spaghetti, salad
creamy chicken, peas, baked sweet potatoes
Fancy chicken, strawberry green salad, rolls
pasta salad, fruit salad
grilled hamburgers, homemade French fries
stir fry chicken and rice
roast, carrots, potatoes, green beans, rolls
meatloaf, mashed potatoes, peas
BBQ chicken, homemade mac and cheese, peas
spaghetti, salad
salmon, roasted potatoes, salad


Frozen fruit salad
chocolate chip cookies
rice krispie treats
chocolate chip brownies
dirt cake (Clay's birthday)


Sausage and cheese muffins
bacon, eggs, toast
frozen waffles

Frozen raviolis
Frozen pizza

Please visit for more delicious menus.

Friday, March 20, 2009


In my Bible reading this morning I read the following verses:

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize. Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who completes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever."
1 Corinthians 8:24-25 (NIV)

I estimate that spend around 5 hours each week running. I rarely miss completing my miles each week. Running is one of my top priorites for a variety of reasons. But these verses prodded me to think. Am I that diligent in my spiritual training? Do I rarely miss completing my time studying my Bible and praying each week? Is training for a crown that will last forever my top priority? If you ask me, I would say that sure it is! But does my training reflect that? I would never try to run a race with little or sporadic preparation. Do I try to live my life pleasing to the Lord with little or sporadic preparation? When life gets more hectic than usual do I let Bible study and time spent in uninterrupted prayer fall by the wayside? But as life gets more hectic than usual do I still log those miles? I am asking myself these questions this morning. As I look back through my thankful journal that I write in each day before I read my Bible, I can see that I have been pretty faithful in my Bible reading since August when I began this current journal.....but there are gaps. I have skipped some days. I have skimped on some days. And currently, I usually don't even have a scheduled time for Bible study and prayer on Saturdays and Sundays.
I am planning for more strict spiritual training. Training of eternal value. Training that will be my top priority. My plan is to continue my 30 minutes of Bible study and prayer each morning, but do it 7 days a week. I want to not miss a day for any reason. Medals and tropies earned in races are of some value to me, but I want most the crown that will last forever!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Woo! Hoo! Spring Break!

We just finished school and are out for out spring break! As Sam would say, "Hippie! Hooray!" We worked really hard this week and finished today instead of tomorrow. Tomorrow is a Home Ec day. For most of the day! We are hosting a bridal shower Saturday morning, and my house needs some serious deep cleaning!
Jimmy is off all next week, and we have a lot planned to do: clean out our storage room, clean out the garage, work in the yard, take a day trip to Memphis, and maybe even relax!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Blog Book

As I have mentioned before, my sister in law, Megan, surprised me with the neatest gift about a month 2008 blog published in a book! I love this book so much, that I plan on publishing my blog at the end of each year. In order to prevent this from being an overwhelming task in the already busy month of December, I am already preparing. Each time I post on my blog, I copy and paste the post into a word document. When I am ready for publishing, all I will have to do is upload the word document to the publishing site. The site Megan used is

Here is the front of the Blog Book

This is what it looks like on the inside.

For more Works For Me Wednesday Tips, visit We Are That Family.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, March 16, 2009

Outside my looks cloudy, misty, and really dreary. However, earlier this morning as the sun was coming up I could hear the birds chirping! Spring is around the corner!

I am thinking...about what all I need to do today.

I am thankful for ...for all of God's blessings in my life. God loved ME enough to send His Son Jesus to die for my sins. I am so unworthy, yet He loved me enough. I am so blessed, and I am so thankful.

From the learning we begin a full week of school...Jimmy is not off any this week, so we will have school all 5 days. We will study the Pacific states in history this week. Leah is learning the letter Q. Olivia has a science and math test today. Julie and Clay are nearing the end of their science course, Botany. We will finish our current read aloud, The Mystery of the Cupboard this week. Next we will read the final book in this series (I cannot think of the name of it).

From the kitchen...I plan to make pancakes and bacon this morning for breakfast. Then I will put chicken on to boil for tonight's poppy seed chicken. Actually, I think I will put the chicken in the crock pot to cook, so I won't have to keep checking on it all morning so it won't boil over!

I am wearing...pajamas!

I am atmosphere of cheerfulness and happiness today. We have a lot of schoolwork and housework to accomplish all goes better with a happy attitude, smiles, words of praise, and hugs.

I am the half mile track this afternoon to run if the weather is pretty.

I am reading...Managers of Their Schools by Teri Maxwell

I am hoping...that some of my close friends who are going through trials will have answers soon.

I am hearing...Dora the Explorer! I am sitting in the bed with Sam who is watching Dora. I will awaken the other children as soon as I post this.

Around the house...we need to straighten the schoolroom before we begin this morning. We never cleaned it up this weekend after dumping everything in there after co op Friday. Clay had company Friday afternoon. Saturday was busy with running and preparing food for our Family Bible Study Saturday night. The girls also had spend the night company Saturday. Yesterday we had 2 guests for the afternoon between church I never got around to cleaning up the school room this weekend!

One of my favorite in the morning.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Tuesday--piano lessons and shopping for a wedding gift and shower supplies. Wednesday: Kroger, taking a meal to a new mother, and church. Thursday: company after lunch. Friday: company after lunch and then major housecleaning! Saturday: hosting a wedding shower here at home.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
Sweet Leah in her jeep!

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Fun Friday

Today was our homeschool co op day. We studied Hawaii and Alaska this week.

The boys in Clay's group playing a memory game.

Leah's group sporting their leis.

Olivia's and Julie's group finished filming their DVD about Lewis and Clark.

Here is Clay with his volcano!

Chocolate Chip Brownies

2 sticks butter
1 box brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
12 oz. chocolate chips

Melt the butter in a large plastic bowl. Stir (do not use a mixer) in brown sugar, then add eggs and vanilla. Next stir in flour and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread into a greased 12x18 (jelly roll) baking pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Cool and cut into squares.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

More Men at Work!

The boys at our house love the outdoors! Sam could either ride his 4 wheeler or play in the dirt pile all day. In fact, as soon as he gets up each morning, he is out the door. That's why so in many of our pictures of Sam he still has on his pajamas.

Ready to go!

taking a break

I love playing in the dirt!

I do too!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

A Sign of Spring

Keepers At Home

Monday night was our monthly meeting of Keepers at Home (girls) and Contenders for the Faith (boys). I only have pictures of the Keepers....the mothers stay with the daughters, and the fathers stay with the sons.

Olivia's and Julie's group learned how to make chenille. Did you know that it is made out of flannel? They made strips of chenille, and then shaped it into their initial. The initial will be sewn on a pillow. Olivia and Julie will have to complete this project here at home.

Leah's group painted flower pots, and then planted snapdragons in the pots. Since Sam wanted to stay with me, he participated too!
Leah painting her pot

Sam painting his pot

Sam with the finished product

Leah posing with her plant

Olivia diligently sewing her pillow

Julie happily sewing too