Saturday, October 31, 2009
I did it! 2 hours, 1 minute, 12 seconds!!
Jimmy ran with me the whole way, and while he let me set the pace, I was encouraged to push myself. I enjoyed the run so much! It really was fun running with my handsome husband and enjoying uninterrupted conversation. However, the last 1.5 miles were tough. I was so ready for the race to be over! Jimmy was very encouraging while I whined the last mile.
As soon as we crossed the finish line, Jimmy was off again! He ran the course (with a few detours since they were shutting down the course) a second time for a total of 26.2 miles--a full marathon. He needed a long run today as part of his training for the full St. Jude marathon in December. He ran the second half faster than we did the first half for a grand total of 26.2 miles in 3 hours, 57 minutes! Wow!
While Jimmy ran, I ate my delicious boxed lunch provided by the race in the company of some Tupelo friends, John and Leigh. Then I changed into dry clothes, played on my phone and then listened to the awards. I was shocked out of my shoes when I was announced as 3rd place in my age group! I happily went on stage to receive my trophy! Since our family photographer was still running, I have no pictures! But Jimmy's running coach was there and he did take one picture of me!
When Jimmy finished and changed we went to Target! and then we came home.
A great half marathon!
A great day!
Friday, October 30, 2009
So yesterday I decided to try something new. Just when I got out my paper and pen to make that "list", I decided to leave it blank. I just stuck it on my calendar and began working. Each time I completed a task, big or small, I wrote it down. I tried to fill the entire page! (It is a small 4 x 6 sticky note page). The already done list really won't work for me on a regular basis---I need to make sure that I don't forget something important, but for yesterday....it worked great!
Here is what I did:
cleaned schoolroom bathroom
made my bed
tidied up my bedroom and bathroom
entered October receipts into my excel budget spreadsheet (all of them! I had gotten really behind!)
reconciled 2 months of bank statements on Quicken
vacuumed the kitchen, eating area, den, basement stairs, and the entire upstairs
mopped basement stairs
shopped with Jimmy (alone) for running rain jackets---it is supposed to be cool and raining for our half marathon tomorrow
cleaned the kitchen 3 times
watched The Spirit of the Marathon with the entire family--the girls and I folded about 6 loads of laundry while we watched it
put away my laundry plus Jimmy's, Leah's, and Sam's
It was a productive day!
A couple of side notes:
While I spent 2 hours at the computer working on the budget, paying bills, reconciling the bank statements, entering dates on my calendar, etc., I kept Leah and Sam busy and happy by giving them all of the trash mail. As I opened up a bill I gave them the envelope plus all worthless inserts, receipts, and junk mail. They had a ball! They spent the entire time playing "office". They found empty boxes to put all of their "mail" in. I also gave them some return address labels that they loved. Sam spent a good bit of time shredding his mail, but that was ok. The first thing I did after playing office was vacuum!
The Spirit of the Marathon was an excellent movie! It followed several people as they trained and then completed the Chicago Marathon. The people ranged from elite runners to novices, with a few people that fell somewhere in between. I did not see the homeschooling mother of 5 children featured! I guess I am off the hook for running a marathon! (Although a friend of mine who is a homeschooling mother of 7--the youngest of which is only one year old! just completed her first marathon in September and will be running another marathon in December!!!) I have often said that I just don't have the desire to run a full marathon, but after seeing these women from all walks of life and of all ability levels train and complete a marathon, I think I may change my mind. I have two friends (one that I just mentioned) that set and met a goal of running a marathon before they turned 40. Well, I missed that milestone! So maybe I will set a goal of running a marathon before I am 50!
Jimmy is running his second marathon in December!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Last week, Leah lost her second baby tooth! It had been only 2 weeks since she lost her first tooth. Losing this tooth was as uneventful as losing the first one. I was waiting in Sam's bed, ready to read bedtime stories to Leah and Sam, when Leah came in the room and calmly announced that she pulled her tooth! The tooth fairy visited again, and this time she gave Leah a paper dollar. Very exciting!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Amanda and Rhett are expecting their 3rd child, a precious baby girl named Caroline. Recently their lives took a very sudden and very unexpected turn---Amanda has created her new blog to chronicle their journey, a journey that is already marked by amazing faith and strength. Please join me in praying regularly for Amanda, Rhett, and their unborn daughter, and please take the time to visit their blog.
Monday, October 26, 2009
This morning Jimmy took the boys to the Memphis Zoo, to Target, and then on to visit his parents--who had a tree fall on their century old home last Thursday night. Jimmy had not had an earlier chance to survey the damage.
While the boys were gone, the girls and I shopped! About twice a year I take Olivia and Julie (and sometimes Leah too) shopping for clothes and shoes. I can still buy things for Clay, Leah, and Sam without them trying them on, but Olivia and Julie are at the age that they really need to try clothes on before we purchase them. Plus, shopping without bored boys can really be fun! We shopped, ate a late lunch, and then I took Olivia and Julie to their piano lesson. During the lesson, Leah and I went back to the mall. After picking up the older girls, we all went to cross country practice. Leah played on the playground while we all ran. I really enjoyed running outside today. After practice, we went back to the mall to finish our shopping. We finally finished up around 7:30 and came home to delicious smelling soup that I had left in the crock-pot.
The boys arrived home about an hour after we did. I asked Sam what he saw at the zoo. He replied, "I didn't see any snakes. I saw a lion eating a pumpkin!"
It was a fun but tiring day!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
The last several days have been full of Spartan fun! Thursday's xc practice included shaving cream games! After a 30 minute run, the runners played freeze tag using shaving cream as the "tag", and then ended the fun with a shaving cream "free for all".
I cleaned the children up the best I could before letting them get into my van!
Julie with her plaque
The children and all of their teammates, siblings, and friends had a grand time running all over the place! They played in the barn, in the backyard, in the woods, and on the driveway. There were people everywhere! I estimated about 125 guests!
When the food was all ready, we lined up the children. They came in the front door of my kitchen, fixed their plates, and then went out the back door for drinks. They all ate in the backyard. It was quite a sight!
My sweet friends Kim and Lynn helped me clean up! Kim vacuumed tons of dirt! It took her over 30 minutes! Lynn unloaded my dishwasher, cleaned up the kitchen, and washed a sinkful of dirty dishes (after filling the dishwasher with dirty dishes.) Another friend (I am not sure who) collected many bags of trash and took them out too. Thanks to all of my sweet, helpful friends! After we got the bulk of the cleaning done, some of the remaining moms and I sat on my back porch, drank real cokes, and finished off two large zip-lock bags of homemade chocolate chip cookies.
What a fun day!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Last Friday when I was traveling home from the Homeschool Camp, I ran over some sort of metal object in the road (going 70MPH down the highway!). I tried to avoid hitting it with my tires, but I still somehow managed to snag it, and it pierced a large hole in my fuel tank! I was unaware of this at the time, and I continued to travel 30+ more miles home. While we were unloading the van, Julie came upstairs and said that she smelled a very strong "gas smell". I ran down to the garage to investigate, and I found gasoline pouring from underneath my van all over the garage floor. It was running like a water faucet! I immediately called my friend and mechanic Scott. Unfortunately he was off work that day, but I explained what was happening to his coworker who promptly called Scott at home and sent him over to my house. Scott graciously pushed the van out of the garage, cleaned up the gasoline from the floor, and called a tow truck! By this time my whole house smelled like gasoline! I opened several doors and ran a few fans for a couple of hours. The temperature was dropping, however, and I finally had to close up the house. I went to turn on our heat, and guess what? It wouldn't come on! I knew it would be Monday before I could call our appliance repairman. Thankfully, even though it remained cold throughout the weekend, our house never got too cold. The other heating units still worked, so they kept the house warm.
This week I have had to be very creative in transporting the children to various locations. We have an extra vehicle (Jimmy's truck), but it will only hold 5 people. On Sunday, we took two vehicles to church services. Monday we just stayed home from piano lessons, and a friend picked up the older three children for xc practice. Tuesday, Jimmy was off work, so he was able to take the children to practice. Yesterday, Scott (our kind family friend and mechanic) came out to my house and gave Clay a ride to church. This allowed me to take the rest of the children. Jimmy met us there and we all came home in our two vehicles. Today we had yearbook picture appointments and Olivia had an orthodontics appointment (she gets her braces off next Tuesday!), so I took 3 children with me for the first trip into town. Next I dropped them off and picked up the other 2 children and took them to town for their yearbook pictures. That took all morning!
The van is supposed to be ready sometime this afternoon! Just in time to take the children and my niece to xc practice!
We have been working in the yard a little this week. Jimmy and Sam worked on clearing a little more of our running trail, I began preparing the pool for winter, and we all worked together in getting the porches and yard tidied up. We are hosting a Spartan Family cookout this Saturday! Tomorrow we will finish up by weeding and cleaning the grill.
Other excitement this week included mountains of laundry, schoolwork, housework, and two birthday parties.
Monday, October 19, 2009
2 Tbsp. butter
1-2 onions, chopped
1 tsp. refrigerated chopped garlic
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
3 cans black beans
3 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1.5 cups chunky salsa
Cook onion and garlic in butter until soft. Meanwhile, puree 2 cans of beans with a little bit of the chicken broth. Add this mixture plus all remaining ingredients to pot. Simmer for at least one hour. If you need to put this in the crock pot, I am sure it would be fine on low for a few hours.
Serve the soup over tortilla chips with grated cheese on top.
Whenever I try a new recipe like this, I also make some macaroni and cheese. That way if some of my little children do not care for it (after they have tried it of course) they can just eat the mac and cheese on their plate. I do not serve something else if someone doesn't like supper, but if it is something new, or something really too spicy for the little ones, I include something else on the menu for them. That way they don't think they are getting a special or different meal because they didn't like what was prepared. They just eat what they really like.....after trying the new item!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Cold Spartan mothers after the race
Saturday, October 17, 2009
All kidding aside, my children and I had a wonderful time! The campout was so well organized. I could tell that the mothers had spent many, many hours planning and preparing. The camp's theme was science, and the children were divided into age groups for an afternoon of 5 science classes. I had children in 4 different classes. I spent all of my time with Sam and his class, where the theme was the five senses. Sam had so much fun smelling, tasting, listening, touching, and seeing various items.
After a delicious potluck hotdog supper, we had a time of fellowship complete with singing and exhortation. Then it was upstairs to the bunkhouse for sleeping! The boys slept in a separate bunkhouse. Clay and his friends were asleep by 10:00, but were up and playing outside shortly after 6:00 AM.
Here are some highlights of the fun-filled two days.
Sam playing on the playground
One special treat was meeting a fellow blogger in person! Dawn from Catch Me If You Can is a member of the homeschool group that holds the camp each year. Lynn and I were delighted to meet Dawn! Dawn has visited this camp many times, and she knew to stay in a hotel! The picture below was taken on Friday morning---after our restful night in the bunkhouse! Dawn is all refreshed, complete with fixed hair and make-up. Lynn and I are sporting the natural look, complete with no shower and un-fixed hair!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Last week our local church hosted a week long gospel meeting. The preacher was excellent, and I was challenged, convicted, and motivated each and every night. I continue to strive daily to serve God in everything that I do.
Also last week, Leah lost her first baby tooth! Usually the loosing of baby teeth here at the Johnson home is accompanied by much wailing and copious amounts of tears. As usual, Leah is different! We were on our way to our church service, and Leah casually announced, "My tooth fell out." That was it! No tears, no wailing, really no excitement at all.....by Leah. The whole van broke out in cheers! Yay Leah! She proudly showed her gap to everyone at church, and by the time we left, she had been awarded a few dollars from generous friends! Whenever anyone asked Leah what she hoped the Tooth Fairy would bring her, she always responded, "Either a dime or a penny!" Well, the Tooth Fairy was feeling generous, and she traded that tiny tooth for a shiny half dollar and two quarters. This thrilled Leah!
It is still raining here, every day! After every race and every cross country practice I am washing muddy, wet clothes and towels, and hosing off and drying out running shoes. Our workout room is lined with shoes drying in front of fans. I bought the cutest rain boots for our family (except for Jimmy and Clay), and we have really put them to good use!
Monday night the girls and I attended our monthly Keepers At Home meeting. Leah's group stenciled aprons, and Olivia's and Julie's group continued to work on various projects like crocheting, knitting, soap making, bow making and scrapbooking. Each girl brings what she would like to work on, and they all sit around tables and chat and work. Fun!
Jimmy and I signed up to run a half marathon together on October 31st. It will be a date! I am looking forward to spending some uninterrupted time with him. It should be a fun day.
Monday, October 12, 2009
the varsity boys with Coach Heather
the varsity boys and girls
Friday, October 9, 2009
Julie with me and Sam--smelling my hair!
The "trophies" for this race were unique---they were actual running shoes with an engraved medallion tied on the shoelaces. So cute! Julie was the overall female winner, Olivia won 2nd in her age group, and Clay won 1st in his age group. Jimmy and I just watched this race and cheered everyone on!
This 5K was very well organized! The race shirts were technical, the race was chip timed, and the race announcer was excellent! We all had a fabulous time!