Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Day in Baltimore

Last week, Asher had an appointment in Baltimore. Joel took the day off so we could play tourists for the day!

We spent the day exploring the inner harbor of Baltimore. 

 We toured 3 historic ships, a submarine, and a lighthouse during our afternoon. Asher's favorite was this one, the U.S. Constellation where we got to see them fire the cannon.

 The kids loved climbing the bunks in the last floating survivor of the Pearl Harbor attack. I don't think I could sleep on those things!

 Show me your shark face! Joel had a hard time navigating inside the submarine. It gave us a new appreciation for our Navy sub friends!

 Climbing to the bridge of a Coast Guard ship that use to serve as a "lighthouse" light ship to guide boats into the harbor.

 Enjoying crab cakes (well I enjoyed them...everyone else turned up their noses).

It was a happy day!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Summer Points

Summer is here! That means enjoying the sunshine,

getting dirty, 

 trips to the playground,


and many many pool days.

However, I think I am like most moms who are thankful that we are done forcing homework and drilling spelling words for the year, but are already wishing for September! I felt so lost the 1st week of summer, and overwhelmed with the number of times the doors slammed as kids came in and out tracking dirt with them, the constant need for something to do, the fights that never stop, and the disruption on a normal routine. Have I ever told you I am a little OCD...just a little. 

Somehow I muddied through the 1st week and in the process begin developing our "summer points" system.  The kids earn points for reading, writing, mathwork, outdoor exercise, learning to cook certain items, playing board games together, learning life skills, and challenging themselves. Every so many points, they earn prizes culminating in the big goal...a trip to Busch Gardens! It has been 2 days since we have started the system and it has been the most amazing 2 days! 

 The kids have spent an hour drawing, another 30 minutes playing candy land together (happily!). Asher has already done a full load of laundry without any prompting (yes that means to washer, to dryer, folding and putting away). They are making their own lunches and planning scavenger hunts. They are constantly checking their list of ways to earn points and then they are off.

Even Jesse has been enjoying independent play time and cut his own food!

Can this really last all summer?!?!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Race Season

Race season continues with everyone but me. I really don't like being in this position. Even after I thought I had dealt with the feelings, I find they resurface every time the starting bell rings and I watch the crowds that include my kids, husband, and friends go by me. I have learned many thing in the process, but still wonder why God has to break me to get me to listen. I have loved cheering for all those dear to me. I have learned that the races aren't always about how fast you finish or the PR, but also about the friendships and joy of running. I am humbled by the lessons and can't wait to put them into practice! Although I survived a couple spinning classes this week, one step on the treadmill proved too much pain to bear so I will still be on the sidelines cheering for awhile. Asher has his eyes set on a few races this summer!
 Anna ready her her 1st 5K!

 Asher at the finish line for his 2nd 5K. He finished in 28:45 this time after a brief fall along the way. Still smiling the whole way!

Anna at the finish line. Her time was 31:53. She is not as enthusiastic about it as Asher but I believe she enjoyed the race and would like to continue on in this adventure. Only time will tell.

 My dear running buddies from Ohio Susy and Catrina finishing the Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon hand in hand. Yes, this photo still brings tears to my eyes. We all moved from Ohio last summer after running together 2 to 3 times a week for a year, including many coffee dates and marathon training long runs. It is amazing how well you get to know one another when you get hours on uninterrupted conversation on the trail. We made a commitment to each other to run a race together every year. Susy and I strong armed Catrina into flying to DC from Montana for this race and then my ankle happened.  And then poor Catrina...coming from 50 degree Montana to 92 degree heat wave for a race that became all about friendship. Catrina (as well as many other runners) suffered dehydration during the race, doesn't remember the last mile, passed out as she crossed the finish line, and had to be carried to the med tent. It wasn't a PR, it wasn't even that pretty, but it was a time together none of us will forget! Hopefully next time I will be finishing next to them.

The course was beautiful and finished in a winery where we got to enjoy wine tasting from 19 different wineries among the grapevines.  
I had to dress like a runner to fit in :). 
I think the flip flops gave me away.

Joel ran too!!  He says he stopped sweating at mile 9 and swears to me that he will never run another half marathon ever! For some reason, he always blames me for this things?

Catrina's farewell coffee date with Susy and I. Starbucks is a must with this crowd :). What a wonderful time of conversation and blessings. I can't wait till the next time!