Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My July List

Well, June has just flown by! Between two week long camps, Vacation Bible School, and our family vacation, I have accomplished about zero on my Summer List! I have got to get busy in July, or I will not be ready to start school on August 8th. The children have one last running camp the first week in August, so that does give me a little extra time to prepare for school.

Here is the minimum I hope to complete in July:

1. Completely prepare for the upcoming school year (big, big to-do item)

2. Visit my parents for a few days

3. Can tomatoes (never done this before, but my friend down the road is going to teach me)

4. Read Matthew 1-10 thirty times (I am trying the inductive Bible study method)

5. Visit an elderly couple that lives about 2 miles from us at least two times

6. Clean off the train table in the boys' room

7. Clean out Julie's closet and drawers (taking out all clothes that no longer fit)

8. Clean out Olivia's closet and drawers (same as in Julie's)

9. Clean out the secret room (another big, big to-do item--this is an unfinished area off of Olivia's closet in her room. It has become a catch-all for all sorts of toys, stuffed animals, unplayed with toys, all kinds of craft projects, etc. I may even take pictures of the before and after. It will be scary!)

10. Clean out and decorate Olivia's and Julie's classrooms at our church building.

11. Help my sister in law pack up her house and move to a new town.

Wow! What a list. I sure hope that July will prove to be more productive for me than June. June has been a ton of fun, but now I am going to have to work extra hard in July.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Our Memorial Day

I know this is about a month late, but this summer has really gotten away from me! We finished school the week before Memorial Day, and we were ready to celebrate the beginning of summer!

I spent most of the morning preparing our Memorial Day meal. The menu: grilled chicken breasts, steak, pork, and vegetable shish-ka-bobs, boiled new potatoes, salad, rice krispie treats, banana cake and homemade vanilla ice cream.

Our guests included Jimmy's parents (Granmomma and Pop) and his sister's children (Will and his friend Ellie, Seth, and Gracie). As soon as Pop arrived, he began grilling for me.

Doesn't that look good?

The cousins had a super time visiting and laughing! They played in the schoolroom and all through the house. They played basketball and hung around outside. The younger children swam, and before everyone left, Sam took Granmomma on a walk in our woods.

Seth and Clay enjoying their meal.

Sam, Gracie, and Leah on the right

Will and his friend Ellie

Sam leading Granmomma through the woods.

Sam beginning to cross the bridge

Almost across!

It scares me every time the children cross this bridge. I don't even like to cross it myself.

Spending Memorial Day with part of our family was a memorable day.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Running With the King

Our family with "The King", Elvis!

Almost a month ago our family ran (for the 5th time) the Running With the King 5K. Since Tupelo is the birthplace of Elvis, several events are held in this area each year to commemorate his birth and death. Each year the Elvis Festival is held the first weekend in June.

The 5K route runs right past Elvis's birthplace, and the post-race refreshments include homemade peanut butter and banana sandwiches (supposedly one of Elvis's favorites). A prize is awarded for the best Elvis impersonator runner (yes, some people run a 5K race in June, in Mississippi, in full Elvis attire), and another Elvis impersonator always provides pre and post race entertainment. He also tirelessly poses for photos! This year the "Elvis" was an actual friend of ours. We took a lot of pictures with him.

I ran with my friend Dorothy, and I had a goal, again, of trying to run the race in less than 25 minutes. I would be happy with a race time of 24:59. Even though the race began at 7:30 AM, it was still very HOT, and very HUMID! We did our first mile a little too fast (right at 8:00), and then our second mile around 8:16.....we were slowing, and we even walked for 10-20 seconds after mile 2. I have never walked in a 5K race before, but Dorothy and I were both completely exhausted. Dorothy was suffering from side stitches, and I was pushing myself as hard as I could. We rarely talked during this race (another first for us....we usually gab the entire time....I bet we shared only two or three sentences).

The end of this race course includes a steep uphill followed by refreshing downhill. We picked up speed again at the end, but we did not meet my goal. Our finish time was 25:24. I absolutely ran as hard as I could, and after I crossed the finish line, I couldn't catch my breath! I stumbled to the side and went behind a tree, trying to inhale. Thankfully Jimmy found me and stayed with me until I was out of danger of having to call 911! He said it must be exercise-induced asthma. It has happened a couple of times before (always when I push myself too hard), and it is frightening. When I finally determined that I would survive, I decided that was the last time that I am going to push myself that hard. I am too old to be setting such high goals, and then risking injury and making myself so miserable trying to meet the goal. I am done!

The rest of the morning proved to be pleasant. We visited with all of our friends while waiting for the race results. Sweet Julie was the overall female winner, and we were so proud of her! I am always amazed by her speed. We were also proud of Olivia who won her division, and also of Clay who ran a great race too! Jimmy placed too....but I can't remember if he won 2nd or 3rd in his age group.

In the running world, when you turn 40, there is an additional award for the fastest runners aged 40 and over (called Masters Division), and for the fastest runners aged 50 and over (called Grand Masters Division). In the Running With the King 5K, for the first time since I turned 40, I won first place in the Masters Division! I felt old! Since Dorothy let me cross the finish line one second ahead of her, I won Masters, and she won first place in our age group. All of the winners were awarded Elvis Festival beach towels, and Julie also won a stadium chair.

After the race festivities, we joined the Mims Family for breakfast at Atlanta Bread Company.

All of the children outside the restaurant
notice Julie and Olivia--always crocheting!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


The Beautiful Beach!

Our vacation at Seaside, Florida, was one of the most relaxing vacations I have ever had! The weather was beautiful! The water was green with slimy seaweed at times, but it was still the fabulous beach. I could sit in a chair on the water's edge with the waves lapping at my feet for days! I did just that for two whole days! The sound of the ocean, the feel of the warm sand, the smell of the salt water---it all adds up to relaxation for me. It also helped that I did not have a 2 year old or younger to chase around! Sam spent hours at the beach, happily digging in the sand or playing in the ocean. He is fearless!

Sam and Leah playing around while Jimmy took family pictures.

Clay--he looks more like Jimmy (to me) the older he gets.

Leah and Julie sitting on the porch of The Seaside Store, waiting while I purchased our matching Seaside shirts. We bought Seaside shirts on our trip here two years ago, but Leah and Sam have grown!

Leah, posing while giving Jimmy a tour of our wonderful beach house. Leah slept on the 3rd story. This is the view from the porch outside her room.

Olivia spent a good bit of her vacation time either reading or putting together a puzzle at the beach house.

Julie and Clay spent a good bit of time in the ocean. They played on their boogie boards and also in the float in the background of this picture. Everyone built sand castles.

I think the children called this a "drip castle".

Sam in the ocean

Sam in the sand

Julie and Clay on their boogie boards

Leah, buried in the sand!

I truly relaxed for three days. I read two complete books and started a third. I did wash loads and loads of clothes, but I did not cook a single meal! We stayed up late, and slept in as well. I had planned to run a couple of days, but I forgot to pack my running shoes! Jimmy did remember his, so he ran two or three times. We enjoyed fresh shrimp, tried frog legs (well, they did, I didn't!), and ate delicious brick oven pizza and some sort of fancy ice cream (can't remember the name of it).

I love the beach!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Today is the big day! Our 19th wedding anniversary.

Yes, these are the same pictures I post every year! They are the only two that I have on my computer.

getting ready to cut the cake

walking to the reception

Jimmy and I are planning to go out to dinner alone tonight if he gets off work in time. As always (ever since the beginning of our marriage), I have a plan B (leftovers and frozen pizza with the kids at home) if he has to work late.

I am so happy to be married to my best friend. I am very blessed, and I thank God every day for my husband!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Our Vacation is Over!

We began a long, relaxing vacation on June 11th. We began by traveling to Jackson, which is where Jimmy and I lived the first 9 years of our marriage. He started medical school one year prior, so he actually lived in Jackson for 10 years.

When we arrived in Jackson, I dropped off Jimmy at the hospital where he spent most of his waking hours during those 10 years! While he visited, I took the children to a bookstore. Next we went to the expo for the race that Jimmy and Julie ran on June 12, and then we met Jimmy's brother, Russ for supper.

Saturday after the race, we all rested and then attended a wedding. The daughter of some of our friends from our church in Jackson was the bride. It was a lovely wedding, and we really enjoyed visiting with our old church family. They couldn't believe how big our oldest children were (they were almost 1, 2, and 4 when we moved), and they enjoyed visiting with Leah and Sam too. Sam talked to everyone at the reception, and managed to embarrass me more than once!

Sunday morning we attended the church service at our old church. Afterwards, we changed clothes, picked up some lunch for the road and then made the 6.5 hour drive


As soon as we arrived in the lovely town of Seaside, Jimmy let us out at the beach while he drove to the rental agency and checked us in. The water was beautiful! Not a hint of oil!
After running around and wading for a while, we walked to our rented beach house.

the house we stayed in!

The kids (and me too!) were up bright and early Monday morning, ready to spend the day on the beach. We left our house for the short walk to the beach at 7:45 AM! The water was clear, the breeze kept us cool, and I sat in a chair on the water's edge until lunch time.

Sam, ready for a day at the beach!

We had an absolutely fabulous time at Seaside! I have lots of blogging to do to record my wonderful memories, but I am so behind at everything after taking over a week's vacation from my normal life! We also have VBS this week, and I am planning for Rustic Youth Camp that is coming up soon too.

Here are a couple of more pictures from the beach.......more to come later!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Renaissance Half Marathon and 5K

Early, early this morning Jimmy and Julie walked to the starting line of the Renaissance Half Marathon and 5K Races. Jimmy ran the Half, which began at 6:00 AM, and Julie ran the 5K, which was supposed to start at 6:15. It was actually around 6:25 before it began. I got Clay, Leah, and Sam up and dressed, and we made it to the finish line area just as Julie approached. What super timing! I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the race had a late start time. It was so exciting to see Julie sail through the finish! (Olivia stayed behind in bed....she was not feeling well.)

After congratulating Julie and finding some shade for her to rest in, we found various things to do to pass the time while we waited for Jimmy. The children all played in a jump castle, climbed on various walls, and the most fun of all---attempted to climb a light pole!

Clay climbing

Sam climbing

Leah climbing

No one made it quite to the top!

Jimmy texted me at mile 12, so we began looking for him. We met a really nice man that we visited with while waiting for Jimmy. This man has a plan to run 50 marathons in each of the 50 states. He has already run 15 marathons in 15 different states! How interesting!

The weather today was EXTREMELY hot and humid. The heat index was predicted to climb to 108 today. Therefore, all of the runners, Jimmy and Julie included, had much slower finish times than they anticipated. Such is the nature of the sport!

Jimmy and Julie after their finish!
Way to go family!

Julie with her 1st place award!

Julie and Me!

Our whole family ran the Running With the King 5K last Saturday. I plan to blog all about it, because it was a fabulous day, but I haven't put those pictures on my computer yet. (Jimmy took all of the pictures that day with his camera).

I do have one picture that was taken with my phone.
So here's a little preview!

Me, Elvis (the King), and Lynn

Monday, June 7, 2010


What a crazy week we have ahead!

It really started last night. I ran 9 miles with a couple of friends after our church service last night. There is a group of runners at our church who bring their running clothes on Sunday and Wednesday nights, and just run from the church building's parking lot a variety of distances. I have discovered that I really enjoy running at night. I arrived home at 10:20 last night, and by the time I got Leah and Sam to bed (they waited up on me!), and then got myself ready for bed, it was almost midnight!

I had a hard time sleeping after that long run, and then I overslept! I needed to leave the house at 6:40 AM to take the older girls to their running camp, and I woke up at 6:30! Thankfully, the girls had set their alarms, so they were up, dressed, packed and ready when I finally woke up. We left only 10 minutes later than I had planned for the hour drive to their running day camp site. This camp meets all week long, so I get to make this drive every day, twice a day this week! I am planning to meet a friend whose children are attending the camp too. She lives about halfway to the camp, and she will take the girls the rest of the way for me some of the days this week. That will really help.

I picked up two of Clay's friends to spend the day here with him. Then we ran three errands and were back home by 9:00. Now I have just a little bit of time until it is time to take Leah and Sam to their swimming lessons at 10:30 (they have lessons all week too!). I'll have to leave at 3:30 to pick up the girls from camp, and then get back home for baths, supper and then church! Our church is having a Gospel Meeting nightly this week at 7:30 PM. The guest evangelist is Wilson Adams, who is doing a wonderful job. Very inspiring! Bro. Adams is also the co-author of a book I previously blogged about, A Life Lost...and Found.

In between, I will be cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and working on VBS and Rustic Youth Camp lesson plans.

I need another cup of coffee!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Our Week

We have had a fun and productive first week of summer break. I cleaned the entire house from top to bottom (with the help of my housekeeper and my older girls!), and I also whittled a little from my huge ironing pile. The girls and I have been ironing quite a bit, and we have less than half to go! I am not sure how my ironing got so piled up, but it was a mountain!

Earlier this week, Olivia and Julie were invited to spend the day with a friend, and yesterday Clay spent the day and night with his best friends (who are brothers). Leah, Sam and I spent a lot of time in the pool this week. They are both enjoying the pool so much this summer. They are both completely unafraid! Leah is swimming all over the place, and Sam is too--with his life jacket on. They are both taking swimming lessons next week, and I expect that Sam will be able to swim without his life jacket by the end of the week. For safety, I will still require him to wear the life jacket unless I am in the pool with him. Accidents happen!

We are planning a short trip to the beach later this summer, and the children are so excited! Julie and Leah have spent most of yesterday and today sewing and appliqueing seashell bags for all five children. They are so cute! They did this completely by themselves! Julie did the appliqueing, and Leah sewed all of the straight seams.

the finished seashell bags

a girl bag

a boy bag

Olivia spent most of the day Wednesday at our church building working on VBS. She will be helping teach the Kindergarten-2nd grade class this year. She is very excited to step into the role of teacher!

Olivia with her finished Paul

I have had a good running week! I ran with friends twice this week, and both times were so much fun! Tomorrow morning our family is running the Elvis 5K. It is called Running With the King! I am sure Elvis will be there, running in full costume!

Next week will be busy as well. The older girls have a running day camp, Leah and Sam have swimming lessons, Sam has a dental appointment, and we have weddings to attend both this Saturday and the next! On the days we are home, we will be diligently working on our summer lists--both the productive and fun ones. I have already crossed some things off of my summer list, and that is a great feeling!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Homeschool Classroom

Beginning today, I am writing a monthly post for The Homeschool Classroom. Please visit this wonderful website/blog for ideas and encouragement for your homeschool classroom.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Running Isn't Always Fun

Let me clarify.

The actual running is usually enjoyable, but the planning to run is usually not fun at all!

I have struggled with this for over three years now, which is how long I have been consistently running. Being a homeschooling mother of five children has presented many challenges to my running schedule. But I know that everybody, no matter what stage of life you are in, no matter how many children you have (or don't have), no matter you if work outside the home or are a full-time homemaker, has their own personal obstacles when it comes to scheduling time for exercise.

I want to encourage you. If you have the desire to exercise, particularly exercise by running/walking, you can do it!

However, it is NOT easy!

There are many nights that I have a 1.5-2 hour run planned for the next morning at 5:00 AM, and I simply can't sleep because of the anxiety! I worry that I have gone to bed too late. I worry that Sam will wake up before I am through (and then I will have to stop running to attend to him). I worry that I will oversleep, and therefore not get started early enough to be through on time. If I plan to run during the children's lunch, I stress thinking about what will I do if someone is not through with their schoolwork when I am ready to run. I wonder if I am asking too much of my older children to fix lunch and feed the younger children while I run. Then, if I plan to run in the late afternoon or early evening, I worry that the younger children will get hungry for supper before I am through running. Then there are the races that our family runs. This presents a whole new set of worries. Who is going to watch my younger children while I run? What if they change their mind and cannot come at the last minute? Etc. Too much worry!

Currently I am taking all of the children to our local city park at 7:30 AM 2 -3 mornings a week. The older three children and I run, and the two younger ones ride their bikes and play on the playground. It is not too hot for them, and the park is not crowded at this hour. In fact, we are usually the only ones there! This is a great plan that is working very well for me right now. But, we are not doing school right now. So while it is a good running plan, it is only a temporary running plan. I am trying to focus on enjoying this workable plan, and not spend time worrying about how I am going to fit in running when school starts back in August!

I have begun training for the Tupelo 14.2 Miler on Sept. 5th. Just looking at the training plan stresses me, but I am trying to take it one run at a time. I really enjoyed this race last year, and I am looking forward to running it again.

So is running even worth it? YES. As I have said many times, while planning to run is a big stressor for me, the actual running itself is the best stress reliever. For the most part, I enjoy every step of my runs. I do have days (like about a week ago when it was 90 degrees and 96% humidity) that my legs feel like lead, I can't breathe, I think I am going to throw up, and I don't think I can complete my run. Then there are the days like last Sunday night after our church service that I ran 8 miles with two friends from church, and felt like I could have run even more!

Be encouraged. Exercise is not easy. Planning to exercise is not easy.
However, the benefits of exercise far outweigh any challenges you might face.

Happy Running!