Thursday, May 27, 2010

Will they ever know?

I glanced out the window as I was preparing dinner and I could see my son.  He was holding his large plastic sword and slicing it through the air.  I assume he was fighting imaginary dragons or giants or perhaps even Goombas.  His arms were flailing, his legs were a blur of motion and he was talking to himself. 

And my heart melted.

As my husband and I were climbing into bed, he noticed a small rock on his bedside table.  My daughter loves to give us gifts.  Sometimes it is a drawing, sometimes it is a shell, sometimes just a random item from around the house.  I looked over at my bedside table and realized that I had a rock too.

And my heart melted.

I wonder if they will ever know how much I love them?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Another major milestone. And we hit this one out of the park!

Often times, I lament the passing of time when my kids are hitting major milestones.  Because as my husband puts it, "it just means they'll be gone soon."  When my son turned 5, my husband sadly said, "Well, 13 more years and he will be gone forever." 

And no matter how hard I tried to convince him that he's wrong, - "Oh, the kids can always come back home.  Just because they move out, doesn't mean they'll be gone forever," - I know deep down, he's right.  Once they move out after high school, it really never will be the same. 

So normally anytime they move from stage to stage, it's a bittersweet moment for us, but not this time.  This was all sweet - no bitter here.

We attended a minor league baseball game with the kids on Saturday night and other than one quick trip out of our seats for ice cream and one trip to ride the merry-go-round, we watched the entire 9 inning game

This is huge people!  Huge.

We've been attending minor league baseball games since the summer Sarah turned 2 and Peter was 3 1/2.  And we have never gotten to watch more than 3 innings of the game.  We were always up and down and back and forth - to the bathroom, to the concession stand, to the merry-go-round, to the bathroom again, and finally home out of exasperation and frustration.

But not this time.  This time was different.  This time was good.  We actually got to watch the game.  The whole game.

Sometimes moving on to a different stage is a good thing.  Now instead of just doing things as a family, we can enjoy things as a family. 

(Are these not two of the cutest snaggle-toothed grins you have ever seen?)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Overheard in Kindergarten.

Yesterday as one of the Kindergarten classes was lined up in a single-file line and was filing out of Spanish Enrichment, I overheard one of the boys saying, "Logan! Will you stop following me?!"

That one kept me chuckling all day!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

She was extra busy this weekend!

The Tooth Fairy was extra busy this past weekend.

Sarah lost her second tooth on Saturday and Peter lost his fourth or fifth (who can keep up at this point?) tooth sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.  When he woke up it was laying under his pillow.

And not a moment too soon either.  I thought if he didn't hurry up and get that tooth out of there, his Grandma was going to hold him down and do it for him.

Peter doesn't like to wiggle his loose teeth.  He prefers to let them loosen up on their own.  And that's not neccessarily a bad approach except that the last two teeth he has lost have been the two big ones on top. 

And because he wouldn't just wiggle them and yank on them to get them to come out like most kids do, the teeth turned and twisted in his mouth until it looked like he was wearing a set of those Billy Bob teeth.

And quite honestly, it really did make him look rather goofy.  And his Grandma doesn't like for her baby boy to look goofy. 

He looked so funny that I can't believe his classmates hadn't given him a hard time.  Or maybe they did and he just didn't care.  And every time I was having a conversatin with him, I couldn't keep my eyes off that crooked bucked tooth.  It was mesmerizing...but not in a good way.

Anyway, the tooth is out and we are all relieved. 

And I learned that instead of fumbling around with food coloring in a dark bedroom, it's much easier to prepare the colored water under the bright lights of the kitchen and just switch the glasses in the darkened bedroom.  It was quite the a-ha moment for me!

So Sarah's Tooth Fairy was yellow and Peter's was orange and I didn't have dye-stained fingers this weekend.  I guess we are all growing up.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My husband went to Seattle and all I got was this lousy...


that pees...

I'm not joking.  My husband travels frequently on business trips.  He normally goes to France and Ireland and occasionally to Seattle.

He normally doesn't bring things back for us.  And that's fine with me.  I don't need any more things to dust or throw away when the kids aren't looking.

But for some reason, a Chinese tea vendor in downtown Seattle convinced Dan to buy this...

If you soak this little creature in water for a few minutes and then pour boiling water over it, water will shoot out of the tiny little hole right there on it's tiny get the picture.

My husband thought it was hilarious.

The kids thought it was hiliarious.

I asked if I could throw it away.

I need to remind my husband that if he must buy something from a Chinese tea vendor in downtown Seattle, tea might be a good thing.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Creative ways to give money to kids for their birthdays.

My kids and their friends are at the age now where receiving cash for birthdays is a big deal.  And this works out great for me since I have a hard enough time knowing what to get my own kids much less what to get their friends.

In February, when Peter's friend Colton turned 7,we gave him money but I wanted to make it a little more exciting than just opening an envelope with cash in it - I wanted him to have something to unwrap.

So I got a whole bunch of balloons and filled each one up with a dollar or some change, until I had a large box full of balloons with money.  And then I wrapped up the box. 

Colton was pretty excited to see such a big gift box and according to the report I got the morning after the birthday sleepover, he had a good time popping the balloons to get the cash out. 

The kids went to sleepover at Cheyanne's on Friday to celebrate her 5th birthday and I knew I wanted to give her cash as well.  I didn't want to do the balloons in a box again since we had just done that with her brother.

I remembered a bunch of plastic Easter Eggs laying around and thought money would be cute stuffed in those.  

I went to Target to try to find some sort of stuffed animal shaped like a chicken.  And to my excitement they had a small Webkinz chicken!  Cheyanne loves Webkinz so this would be perfect.  (Now don't look to closely because even though the Webkinz tag calls it a chicken, I think technically it's a rooster because it has one of those red things on it's head.)

I got a cheap basket, put dark brown shredded paper in the bottom of it (attempting to simulate straw), laid the eggss (get it?  laid the eggs!) on top of the "straw" and placed the chicken on top of the eggs. 

How adorable is this?  So much cuter than money in an envelope!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Three easy steps and I still messed it up.

I love this rice.  It is delicious, it has lots of fiber and it's easy to prepare.  Many days, this is my lunch. 

All you have to do to prepare it is squeeze the pouch to separate the rice, tear the sides at the little indentions and heat it for 90 seconds.

Squeeze.  Tear.  Heat.  In that order.  That's all you have to do.

Well, here's what happens when you accidentally forget the tear part:

Let's move in for a closer look...

But don't worry.  I ate it anyway.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

$89.95. That was all it took.


That was all it took.

My computer has been running like a dog lately.  It was getting slower and slower by the day.

It was getting so bad that I would click on something, get up from the computer, put in a load of laundry, grab a glass of sweat tea, come back to the computer and it would finally, finally be almost done with what ever task I had just asked it to do.  And we are talking about switching from one website to another - not calculating some complex equation, because I do all that fancy math on my other computer.

Anyway, I was about to pull my hair out.

Since we were going to be at the beach last weekend anyway, I decided to drop my computer off at the local computer fix-it shop to see what they had to say.  (We know have a local computer fix-it shop.  I don't have to drive all the way to the big city anymore when I want to throw my computer out the window like I used to have to do!)

The nice guy from the computer fix-it shop called me at the beach and said it just looked like I needed some more memory.

So he added 1 gig of memory and I feel like I have a new computer this one is zipping around so fast! 

And yes, I am aware that I could have gotten 1 gig of memory for $40 and installed it myself.  Well, let me correct myself, my husband could have installed it.  However, my husband is usually either on his way to work, at work, coming home from work, out of the country on a business trip for work or sleeping so I decided to give him a break and just pay the nice computer guy at the local fix-it shop.

I think $89.95 was a bargain!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My family doesn't like it, but maybe yours will!

Lately I have been trying new vegetable recipes in an attempt to get my family to eat more than potatoes, corn and green beans. 

I don't make the kids eat everything on their plate, but I do make them at least taste any new foods.  I am fully aware that they probably aren't going to like it, especially if it's a vegetable other than potatoes, but I enjoy watching them pinch their lips together, turn up their nose and close their eyes.  I even enjoy hearing the fake gagging noises they make even though I pretend to be heartbroken and feign tears.

Dan is pretty adventurous and has been eating the asparagus, brussel sprouts and broccoli that I place in front of him.  And even if he hates it, he will usually eat every bite of it. (Or try any way.)

My family can eat broccoli if it's covered in cheese or ranch dressing and I think it's o.k. too. But recently I came across a different way to serve broccoli and I have made it multiple times.

Now I'm not gong to lie to you.  I am the only one that will eat this but I LOVE it.  And I figure, one of these days, maybe, just maybe, one of the kids will decide they want to see what the fuss is all about.  Maybe.

Roasted Broccoli with Lemon

  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (I usually use more than this.  I like to make sure the broccoli is coated well.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I usually use a little more than this and I prefer Kosher salt.)
  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges (I usually just use lemon juice from those cute little plastic lemons.)
  • garlic (I added this one and usually just mince up a couple of cloves.  I love garlic!)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Toss broccoli with oil, salt, pepper and garlic.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

When you are preparing this, you will think that the broccoli is burning.  Don't worry - it is!  Well, not really burning so much as roasting.  And you want it to really roast up because that's when it gets crispy.  And cripsy broccoli is good broccoli.

Here's the broccoli ready to go into the oven...

And here's the broccoli after it has been roasted.  See the black on the ends of the broccoli?  You know it's going to be a little crispy and a lot delicious!  (And look at all that roasted garlic on the pan.  That just adds to the deliciousness.)

My family may not love it, but maybe yours will!

Monday, May 10, 2010

They love me! They really love me!

Sarah presented me with a letter yesterday entitled "My Special Mother".  It was like a little Mad Lib that her teacher helped her fill out.  It was such a cute way to start my Mother's Day.  (The words in bold are her actual answers.)

My Special Mother

My mother is the most wonderful mom in the whole world.  She is as pretty as me.  She weighs 100 pounds and is 7 feet tall.  Her favorite food is broccoli.  She is 44 years old.

In the good old days, when mom was little, she used to read.  Now she likes to run.

I think mom looks funny when she is on the swing.  I know she is really angry when she yells.  I make her happy when I play with her.

I wish mom would play hide-and-seek with me everyday.

I would not trade my mother for $10.00!

Happy Mother's Day!


Sarah also wrote me a letter in addition to the Mad Lib she did at school and it says:

PS Mom,

You are the best.  You make me happy.  I love you.  You give the best hugs.  You take me everywhere.  You help me with everything.  You are good but the best part is you love me.

From Sarah C.

And Peter, not wanting to be outdone on Mother's Day, wrote me the following:

I love you Mom!  Thank you for being my mom!

I told the kids I will keep these letters forever and you know what, I will.  Their words mean so much more to me than any other gift they could ever give me.  How wonderful to know that my babies love me!

(And the sweet card from my husband?  How wonderful to know that he loves me too!)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The burning question.

So, what does a country-music-loving, heavy-metal-headbanger, who can't get enough of American Idol, have on her iPod?

Praise and worship music, of course!

The following songs are loaded up on my iPod and get me through my runs:

Litany - Matt Maher
Jesus Messiah - Chris Tomlin
Here I Am To Worship - Michael W. Smith
Call On Jesus - Nicole C. Mullen
You Are My King - Newsboys
Agnus Dei - Michael W. Smith
Redeemer - Nicole C. Mullen
Born Again - Third Day
Washed By the Water - Needtobreathe
I Will Rise - Chris Tomlin
What Faith Can Do - Kutless

I also make it a habit of praying while I run.  I used to pray for myself - God, help me run one mile without passing out.  God, help me make it up this hill.  

But I quickly discovered that if I pray for other people while I'm running, I forget all about the fact that I'm struggling.  I forget all about how much farther I have to go and many times, I even forget that I'm running!

"...pray for each other so that you may be healed." - James 5:16b  or alternately, "...pray for each other so that you forget you are running."

Monday, May 3, 2010

No shuttle buses. No Port-A-Johns. No problem!

Jennifer and I missed the official start of the 5k.  So if there was a starting gun, I didn't hear it.  And I was really looking forward to hearing the starting gun and feeling the rush of adrenaline that was sure to come afterward. 

But I needn't have worried.  I got my fill of adrenaline.

The organizers arranged for special parking for all of the 5k participants at a local race track with shuttle bus service to the Race for the Cure event site at Salem College.  Unfortunately, they only scheduled three buses (2 and a half if you consider that one of the buses was a short bus!) to shuttle all of the runners and walkers back and forth.  And they were expecting 10,000 participants.  So if you do the math...

After standing in line for the shuttle for over 35 minutes without much movement and realizing that the race was going to start in less than 20 minutes we decided we had better make a run for it.  So we followed the hundreds and hundreds of other people who realized they weren't going to make it on the shuttle either. 

Luckily they knew where they were going because we sure didn't.

I estimate that we walked at least a mile or a mile and a half before the race even started.  We were rushing to the gathering area and we were moving pretty fast.  Our nervousness was long gone by now.  At this point we were both just frustrated, annoyed and irritated.  And we both had to pee.  As we trotted past the ten porta-johns, we knew we were going to have to hold it.  Once again you do the math...ten Port-A-Johns...ten thousand participants...

Finally we could see the starting line and could tell by what the announcer was saying that the timed racers had already started.  We began to push and squeeze our way through the crowds of walkers and untimed runners that were getting ready to go and we finally made it to the mat at the starting line  (You have to run across the mat to activate the timing chip in your shoe.  This is how they determine your final time.)

And then without a second thought or a pause we took off running.  Getting to the starting line was so chaotic and annoying that we didn't even think about the fact that we were actually starting our first 5k or that we had to go to the bathroom - we just took off.

I had already told Jennifer she could leave me behind.  She starts much faster than I do and I didn't want to hold her up.

I had my iPod and my music was playing but I didn't hear much of it.  I knew I was doing the first mile with all of the hills but I didn't even feel them or notice them really.  The adrenaline had kicked in and I was running. 

I was weaving in and out of traffic.  I was actually passing people.  A lot of the walkers started before they were supposed to so I had to maneuver around them and slower runners.

I tried to keep Jennifer in my sight but she had gotten way ahead of me and soon she was lost in a sea of women with blonde ponytails, white shirts and black pants. 

I saw the one mile marker and I felt victorious!  I was doing it!  I had easily made it up the uphill section of the course.   

The second and third miles went by fairly quickly as well.  There were lots of local cheerleaders stationed throughout the course cheering which really did make a huge difference.  I felt important.  I felt like they were cheering for me and only me. 
Right before I saw the sign marking then end of mile three, Jennifer came running up beside me.  I had caught up to her and had passed her without even realizing it.  We ran the last one tenth of a mile together and crossed the finish line at exactly the same time!  Her time was also 31:02.  I love that!

So, I guess I need to biskly walk a mile and a half before my next 5k and make sure I need to go to the bathroom.  Apparently it does wonders for my speed!

Tired but happy!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

It's official.

My finish time was 31:02 - which is wonderful considering that I was hoping to finish in 39:00.

I think I'm hooked because I'm trying to decide which 5k to do next.

So I guess it's official.