Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I Was Spontaneous!

Last Thursday when I was nearing Olivia's college campus, I saw a huge flashing sign that read:

Caution!  Runners! 
March 22
5K, 10K, 15K

Hmmmm……I thought……the girls and I should run that race!  And…..I won't tell Jimmy what we have planned.  We will be spontaneous, sign up for the race, and tell Jimmy and the kids back home after we are all done!

I was so proud of myself and my spontaneity!

Friday night I went to the packet pickup location, signed us up, got our bib numbers and race shirts, and we were all set.  I signed up Tiana for the 5K, and Olivia, Julie, and myself for the 10K.

The race start/finish was less than a half mile from Olivia's campus, so we just walked to the start.  Three of Olivia's XC teammates were there to run too.  The race was the Strawberry Classic, and they served tons of strawberries!  The race course wound all through the shady neighborhoods surrounding the campus, and at one point we ran right by Olivia's dorm.  So much fun!

 Four sleepy girls before the race

 Flats of strawberries on the post-race refreshments table

 Three sweet girls, ready to run!

 After the race, enjoying the strawberries

 When all the racers were finished, they began giving away flats of strawberries.  I got this flat for Olivia to share with her friends at the dorm.  

Julie and Olivia won first and second in their age group.  
The medals have strawberries on them!

I texted Jimmy right before the race to tell him not to worry if I did not answer my phone for a couple of hours.  I told him we were doing something spontaneous, and we would tell him all about it soon. I wanted to surprise him, but I also knew he might worry if neither Olivia, Julie, or I answered our phones.  He and the other children were running a race back home, and I knew that we would be calling me to share their results.

He sent me two texts with guesses… he thought that we may be enjoying a manicure/pedicure/massage, and the then the second text said,

"I hope you win the race!"

He guessed!

But that's ok.  I still did something fun and unplanned.  We enjoyed our morning so much!

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Happy Day

Julie and I (and one of Julie and Olivia's friends) are visiting Olivia at college! We left for the airport yesterday morning at 3 AM.  I was so busy packing and getting things ready for my family to be without me for a few days, that I only slept 2 hours before it was time to go.  I drank lots of coffee yesterday.
We were so happy to see Olivia, even though she has not been back to school for even a week yet.  Julie and Tiana are staying in the dorm with Olivia, so they are getting to spend a good bit of time with her.  I have spent the afternoon doing laundry for Olivia and her roommate and ironing some of her clothes.  It makes me happy to be doing things for Olivia.  She is studying right now, but later on we are taking Olivia out to eat supper with us.  Then we are all going to attend some activities that they have planned here at the school tonight.
I miss my other children and Jimmy too, but I am having a happy day with my oldest.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Some Fun From Last Week

Last week was our Spring Break, and we had a fun-filled week.  The highlight of course, was having Olivia home from college for the week.  

We spent a couple of days in the Huntsville area visiting one of Olivia's new college friends and his family.  Now we are all friends!  It was nice getting to know such a friendly and kind family that are also brothers and sisters in Christ.  
While we were there, Jimmy took Leah, Sam, and Clay to the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville.  Later that night we enjoyed a delicious meal with the Copeland family and spent a few hours just visiting and playing a new (to us) game.

 game fun

 more game fun

 more game fun

 more game fun--even though Clay doesn't appear to be having fun at the moment!

 at the Space Center

 at the Space Center

 at the Space Center

 future astronauts!

 even more game fun!

Danielle, Julie, and I did not play any games--we chatted and watched Danielle draw with her cool computer/drawing pad/tablet/thingy!

The last couple of days of our Spring Break were spent shopping with Olivia (getting her a dress and accessories for her Spring Banquet at school) and planning and planting my small garden.

Pictures to come of the garden!

Friday, March 14, 2014


Over the last several years we have dabbled a little bit in gardening.  We have planted two or three small gardens in two different locations.  We have planted herbs only.  We have planted tomatoes only in a couple of different locations as well.  Julie asked if we could have a garden again this summer.  Jimmy and I agreed, but this time I am going to take a more active role.  I have been reading about gardening in our area of the state (mostly via the Mississippi State gardening website), and I have created a gardening notebook.

Our garden is going to be a small one by gardening standards, but it will be the largest one that we have ever put in.  20ft. x 25ft.  I hope to yield just enough produce to eat each day that the harvest is ready.  I am not trying to put up food to last us all winter!  However, with the tomatoes, that's a different story.  I have canned tomatoes and/or salsa for the last 3 years, and I am setting out 24 tomato plants in our garden this year with the hopes of having enough to yield to eat each day as well as can some for the future.  We will see!  I may be buying tomatoes from a local farmer to supplement mine in order to can.

We are planting small amounts of the following:  
green beans
sweet corn

I will observe which of these plants do well, and increase or eliminate my planting accordingly for next year.  

So far Jimmy has staked off the boundaries of the garden and poisoned the grass.  He plans to till up the ground this weekend, and I will plant the broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, and potatoes.  I have a list of what to plant, when all ready.  I drew a grid on paper of my garden plan.  I plan to keep many notes of what I am doing this year, how much I spend, etc., so I can learn from my mistakes and better plan for next year.

It will be a learning experience and a work in progress.

I hope our garden will grow!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Amanda Price 5K/10K/Fun Run

Last Saturday, for the first time in a long time, our entire family (all seven us, including Olivia) participated in a local race.  The Amanda Price event had a 5K, a 10K, and a 1/2 Mile Fun Run.  I ran the 10K, Jimmy, Olivia, Julie, and Clay ran the 5K, and Leah and Sam ran the 1/2 Mile Fun Run.

It was a beautiful day for a race.  It was nice and sunny, and the temperature was pleasantly cool.
Here are some photo highlights of the fun morning.

 Sam, Me, and Leah

 Sam, Jimmy, and Leah

 Leah and Sam running the Fun Run

 Sam and Leah after their run

 Rod, from Rod's Racers.
Rod took over 300 pictures of this event.  He has a website and a Facebook page that promotes running throughout the state of Mississippi. 

 Clay and I are enjoying a snack after the race.

 It was good to visit with Esther and her girls.

 Olivia and Jimmy
It was GREAT having Olivia with us!

Julie, receiving her award.

We visited the new Trails and Treads store in New Albany after the race.  The rest of our busy day included taking Sam to a birthday party and then attending our family Bible study at the Johnsey's house that night.

It was a wonderful day with our complete family.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Running Errands With Small Children

Today I have a post over at The Homeschool Classroom.  I talk about running errands with small children.  While I don't have to do that anymore, I did run all over town with up to 5 children in tow for many, many years.  The hardest years for me were when Olivia, Julie, and Clay were little.

Click here to read all about it!

Happy Friday---it really is a happy Friday for us, because Olivia is coming home tonight for Spring Break!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Running Is Getting Fun Again

After the St. Jude Marathon fiasco (when the race was cancelled because of inclement weather--FREEZING COLD TEMPERATURES, but Jimmy, Leanna, and I ran 26.2 miles anyway), I was pretty much scarred for life from running-- A. long distances and B.  outside if it was below 40 degrees.  In fact, I have run outside only 3 times since December 7:  one 10 mile run on January 1, and two other 6 mile runs over 6 weeks ago.  I took a break from running altogether for over two weeks, and I have run a little bit here and there while also doing T25 workouts up until 3 weeks ago.

But three weeks ago I began a simple, very low mileage running plan, and I am happy to say that I have stuck with it.  Even though I have not run outside yet, running is beginning to be fun again.  I like having a running plan with blocks to check off. Like I said, the mileage is very low, but it is doable, and I will gradually build back up to running 30+ miles a week.  I would like to run another marathon.  I know I said never again, but time has a way of diminishing bad memories!  I don't have one picked out, but I do want to run another one.

So.  In keeping with making running fun again, I recently signed up our entire family for 2 races.  The first one is this Saturday, the Amanda Price 5K/10K/Fun Run.  Olivia will be home for Spring Break, so all seven of us are running.  Jimmy, Olivia, Julie, and Clay are running the 5K, I am running the 10K (just to get my long run in this week in a fun way!), and Leah and Sam are running the 1/2 mile Fun Run.

And, I signed all seven of us up for the Coke 10K!  This will be Sam's very first time to run a 10K, and I am so excited that our entire family will be running Koach's race.  Leah and Sam began training for the 10K yesterday.  They are following the Commit to Be Fit Coke 10K Facebook page training plan.  It is for beginners.  The first week's training is 4 days of running/walking, 20 minutes a day for 3 days and then 30 minutes on the 4th day.  Right now they are running on our treadmills, but as soon as it warms up, I will take them to the park.  I am looking forward to running outside myself!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


 My grandmother, Meme, passed from this life on Friday.  She will be greatly missed!

My mother has tirelessly taken care of Meme for the last few years, and she set a great example of compassion and caring as she served my grandmother.

As Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 7:1-2
"A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of one's birth; better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart."

Gathering with family and friends to mourn the loss of a loved one always causes everyone to reflect on their own lives as they remember with fondness the live of the loved one who has just passed.  Death and funerals remind us of the brevity of life, and the importance of living a life that brings glory to God.

Ecclesiastes concludes with this:
"Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all."

Olivia and Meme

"Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised."
Proverbs 31:30