Saturday, July 31, 2010

July 31, 2010

Today I'm thankful for good friends and good times.

Dave and I had a great time today at Walker's Benefit Shootout for Autism.  (Thanks for having us out Barry and Madonna!  Hope the benefit was a success!)

I can't think of a better way to raise money for a good cause.  Visiting with old friends, making new friends and throwing some lead down range.

After I downloaded my pictures this evening . . .

I found this one.  Hubby must have snagged my camera while I was attempting to hit what I was aiming at.  I'm pretty rusty, but DID manage to (mostly) hit what I was aiming for.

Dave and I both ended up bringing home some super cool prizes.  Can't wait to try out my walking weights with the MACE (and pray to God that I don't mace MYSELF)!  I'll let you know how THAT works for me.

I believe I'm going to try to crawl to bed now.  I'm BEAT.

Friday, July 30, 2010

July 30, 2010

Today I'm thankful for big puffy white clouds and sleeping in. 

Today was an extremely busy day.  I had to get everyone up and ready to run errands this morning.  A trip to the gun shop for primers, stopping by the bank for my mom, and a trip to Springfield to pick up my new glasses, before swimming lessons.

On the way back from Springfield, mom and I decided to stop by Fair Grove to check out a local flea market, since we had an hour to spare before swimming lessons.

This place was PACKED with treasures and I wish we'd have had more time to browse (without small children).  Can you spot me in my new glasses in the above photo?

They're taking a little getting used to, since I decided to take a bit of a walk on the wild side.

I tried them on at the store several times.  The first time I laughed out loud.  But I liked the color, so I kept coming back to them.

Totally nerdy and not my style . . . but I think I like them.

They're growing on me.

My second pair is much more tame.  I'm sad to say I have to buy little kid's frames to fit my face . . . but sometimes it DOES have it's perks.

Eli doesn't like my nerdy glasses, but I'm sure he'll get used to them soon.

Both kids passed their levels at swimming lessons, so they can move up next year.  I'll be holding Eli back to level 2 again, just so he has another year to build up some strength.  He was the "little kid" in class this Summer, but next year I see him really taking off!

After we got home I threw a little lead down range in an effort to practise for tomorrow's big benefit shoot.  Hope I can hit what I'm aiming at tomorrow!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

July 29, 2010

Today, I'm thankful that I got a load of laundry and my run in, before Dave decided that I needed to go trout fishing with him and the kids.

Mom called right after I threw in the first load of laundry; wondering if I could come over and take some pictures of her flowers.  So I ran over and got several nice shots.  This little butterfly seemed to want it's picture taken too . . . so I obliged.

As soon as I got back home, we all had breakfast, and I jumped on the treadmill for a 20 minute random interval training, then ran a mile in 9 minutes and 45 seconds.  I shaved 15 seconds off of my 10 minute mile!  I'm starting to see where interval training is beneficial . . . I just HATE slowing down, once I get up to speed.  All that stopping and starting wears me out.

After my run, I got everything packed up for swimming lessons later in the afternoon; got everyone showered and dressed to go fishing; and loaded up the Jeep with snacks and fishing gear.

Bayleigh really had a good time.

Eli got bored after about 2 minutes.  So I casted and reeled for him, while he looked for bugs and splashed in the water at my feet.

I finally gave up on the trout, so I could take Eli exploring.  (Doesn't he look enthusiastic about the whole process?!)

He was fascinated by the guy mowing the grass (just because he was riding on a tractor) . . . but even more so with the spider he found in the pavilion.

We'd just went back down to the river, when it started raining.  So we came back to the pavilion and had a picnic lunch, while we watched it rain.

We all had to have little permits pinned to us, and as soon as we were finished fishing, that was the FIRST thing Eli wanted taken off.

And I'm sad to say that he's going through the above phase, of "NO MORE PICTURES, MOM!".

But I still managed to sneak a few.

I walked around taking some random photos of all the friendly fishermen/fisherwomen;

while Dave took the kids to see the baby trout.

It's always so pretty here.

And it was even prettier with the steam coming off the water after the rains.

We headed straight for swimming lessons after we left, and we managed to make it almost all the way through before it started to thunder.

If I can just make it through one more day of appointments and swimming lessons, a benefit shoot, and Sunday School class; next week's load is starting to look a little lighter.  Will all the running ever end?!

July 28, 2010

Today I'm thankful for the lazy days of Summer, but I know they are quickly coming to a close!

As much as I like the spontaneous and relaxed schedule we've been keeping, I'm longing for my routines. 

This has been a Summer of wet towels, bathing suits, sunscreen and water; and Dave thinks we have to be going somewhere non-stop with the kids.  It seems like I haven't been home at all this Summer and the house is TRASHED from our comings and goings.

The rest of the week is packed with activities, too.  And here I am, longing to get things back in order before school starts in THREE WEEKS. 

I'm not even sure it can be done, but I'm going to give it my best effort!  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

July 27, 2010

Today I'm thankful for accomplishments . . . small though they might be.

Another day of rushing around, trying to get laundry, dishes and housework caught up before hitting the road for swimming lessons again.  It's a vicious cycle, but we've only got three more days of swimming lessons after today.  Eli is going to be a FISH . . . if only he could grow gills.  He wants to be under the water ALL the time and doesn't like to come up for air.  I think he's starting to figure that part out, though.  And Bayleigh jumped off the diving board and swam all the way back to the wall by herself.  Little by little the kids are grasping swimming.  I'm so proud of them both!

July 26, 2010

Today I'm thankful for acts of nature.

I had to do a lot of hurrying this morning, so I could get everyone where they needed to be, on time.  Laundry, dishes . . . and my 30 minute run were squeezed in first.  And then it was off to my mom's appointment.  She had to go back in for a redo - on her yearly mammogram.  Just down the road from our house there has been a momma deer with twins.  I never seem to have the right lens on me, but today, when I saw them, I turned the Jeep around and went back for a few shots anyhow.  The two little ones are standing right at the tree line, and they're just adorable.

After we got done with mom's appointment, we went to visit Dave at the Urgent Care Clinic (where the Jeep over-heated a bit); and then we headed off to swimming lessons (which got rained out).  It looks like we'll be coming back on Friday for a make-up day. 

After we got back home and had supper, we all went outside to pick up some rocks in the front yard.  As we were working away . . . the B2 flew over.  (I didn't have my zoom lens on this time either.)

We picked up rocks until the sun started going down, and then we picked some tomatoes from the garden for a little snack.

They were really yummy!  I just wish there were some way to eat as many as the vine is producing!  I guess the birds and wildlife will get their fair share, too.

Monday, July 26, 2010

July 25, 2010

Today I'm thankful for grace and mercy. 

It seems like I'm always struggling and fighting to stay on the right path.  I stumble and take a wrong turn now and again, but someone always finds me, helps me up and somehow leads me back where I need to be.  For those who encourage, inspire and help me during my struggles . . . I thank you.

I guess I kind of feel like a salmon fighting it's way upstream.  Except I never do seem to reach my destination.  Always swimming and struggling to continue moving forward.  I know the path that I strive to stay on, is the hardest and most tiring, but the rewards far out number any pain and suffering I might endure on my journey. 

God's grace IS sufficient for us all.

July 24, 2010

Today I'm thankful for beautiful bouquets, playing in the sprinkler, and good Summer storms.

I spent my morning speed cleaning, while Dave had the kids outside.  It's much easier to clean when there aren't little (or big) hands messing things up right behind me as I go.  After her outside excursions, Bayleigh brought me this beautiful bouquet of (ehem) "flowers" from the back yard.  I like little bouquets like this so much better than the one's from the florist, because I know this one was picked especially for me, by my sweet little girl.

I spent my afternoon goofing off on the computer while Eli took his nap, Dave studied out on the deck and Bayleigh played in the sprinkler. 

I'm glad she had time to play outside before the storms moved in, later in the day.  We ended up getting over a half inch of rain in a very short period of time, and it was nice to sit out on the deck and watch it move through.

I REALLY miss my schedule/routine.  One more week of swimming lessons and then I'm forcing myself (and the kids) back into some semblance of order.  This Summer has been completely sporadic and spontaneous; which is good up to a point, but really bad for my running. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

July 23, 2010

Today I'm thankful for strength and determination.

I spent my morning cleaning house and picking up after everyone, and then mom came over and kidnapped the kids for a few hours.  So what was I to do, but jump on the treadmill?!

I met my goal of 50 miles this month AND I ran 6.03 miles in 75 minutes, today.  So I also met my secondary goal of 6 miles in one run.

My knees have both been feeling good; although it's going to take me a little while to build my right one back up . . . I'd say it's well on it's way.

It was nice to have an afternoon off and I literally goofed around the rest of the day; doing a little here and a little there.  I still need to work on getting back on schedule, but it may just have to wait until swimming lessons are over with.  They seem to be throwing a wrench in the works, while I'm trying to stay organized.  If you can't change it . . . roll with it.  Right?!

July 22, 2010

Today I'm thankful for forward progress and down time.

I spent a good portion of the day cleaning and putting laundry away, and then I took a break right after lunch.

The day seemed to slip away from me and before I knew it, it was time for swimming lessons again.  The last day this week!

Dave met us at the pool and he took the above photo, since I was otherwise occupied, in the pool with Eli.  They are both doing amazingly well in such a short period of time.

I'm so very proud of them both.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

July 21, 2010

Today I'm thankful for only one appointment today.

The rains were moving in this afternoon, right after swimming lessons, and I stopped at an intersection and snapped a few shots.

And after I got home, I needed to borrow some vinegar from my mom so Dave could finish off canning pickles.  Kasey was still at my mom's house and she brought out the cute little ducks and put them in the bird bath for me, so I could take a few shots.

She's such a sweet little girl, and her parents don't know what they are missing out on, when they drop her off here, and there for someone else to watch, while they are busy "living their lives".  I'm not even sure if Kasey knows where "home" is anymore.  I'm glad she likes to stay with my mom, though. 

At least she gets the attention she craves, and has all the animals in the world to love on.  I like to see her smiling and enjoying the simple things . . . like little baby ducks.  These two follow the kids around EVERYWHERE, when you let them loose.  They're just like puppy dogs and it's completely adorable to watch.

Early this morning, I worked on catching up the laundry and organizing all the vegetables that need to be worked up.  There are a lot of tomatoes and cucumbers to process . . . along with some squash and zucchini.

I also ran my ten minute mile for the first time on my treadmill today.  Total of 3.35 miles in 40 minutes, with interval walking and running.  I've got a little under 2 miles left to reach my 50 mile goal for the month!

And I've ALMOST got the laundry completely caught up for another day.  Tomorrow I'm planning on cleaning up the kitchen.  It's a WRECK.

Swimming lessons went well again today.  Eli learned how to do the "jellyfish float" and float on his back, and he's starting to learn some of the basics . . . like the crawl and the back stroke.  Bayleigh also looked like she was doing well in her level 3 group.  I'm really hoping they both learn to swim by the end of next week!

July 20, 2010

Today I'm thankful for Dave watching the kids, while mom and I headed off to our eye appointment.  It would have been extremely hard keeping them occupied, while we spent over two hours doing and exam and waiting on someone to get our prescriptions filled at Eye Masters.  (I won't be going back, by the way; except to pick up my glasses.)

When we headed out at 9:30 a.m. the sky was overcast and it looked like a good storm was moving in.

But 20 minutes South, the sun was shining and it was as hot as ever.  Mom and I had our exams, picked out our glasses and FINALLY got out of Eye Masters in time to do some speed shopping, and then meet up with Dave and the kids at the dentist's office.  Eli had to have three teeny tiny fillings filled, and he did a super job.  The dental assistants were really proud of him . . . and so was mommy and daddy.

After the dentist appointment, mom and I ran to Braum's for some lunch (at 3:30 p.m.), while Dave occupied the kids at Bass Pro.  We met up again at Bass Pro, and then switched the kids over to my Jeep, so Dave could go to his staff meeting, and I could get the kids to their swimming lessons on time.

Today was Eli's first jump off the diving board.  He had a blast and wanted to continue jumping off the diving board over and over again.  The child has absolutely no fear.  He did really well, and I think by the time swimming lessons are done next week, he will have a pretty good grasp of swimming. 

I was in the pool today too.  Helping keep Eli in line, while trying to help him along with the other kids in level 2.  Maybe by the time swimming lessons are over with, I won't have quite such a phobia about being seen in public in a bathing suit.  I'm just weird about things like that.

What an exhausting day!  Dave is staying up late to watch a movie with the kids and I'm off to bed!

Monday, July 19, 2010

July 19, 2010

Today I'm thankful for motivation and the diligence to see things through.

Monday's are always my busiest day of the week and today was doubly so.  I'm still washing bedding (mine and Dave's) at 11:00 p.m.  I started the day a little sluggish and behind schedule, but after I fed the kids, I jumped on the treadmill and ran 2 miles in 21.54 minutes, and finished out with a total of 3.03 in 35 minutes.

Then my mom came over to pick up the kids.  (She's had Kasey all weekend, and I think it's easier for her to get things done around the house, when all the kids are there playing together, and keeping each other occupied.)  So while the kids were at mom's, I brought out the border adhesive and the other roll of border, to finish up Eli's room.  (*That self adhesive border didn't stick worth a hoot, so I had to take it all down and start from scratch today.  I'm hoping this adhesive works, since it took me three and a half hours to take it all down, clean the walls again, and put it back up.)

In between working on the border in Eli's room, I did several loads of laundry, and got things packed up and ready for their first day of swimming lessons for the year.

Eli took to it like a fish!  Both he and Bayleigh will be moving up to a little more advanced level tomorrow.  Neither of them have any fear, and it scares me to death!  I'm hoping they truly DO learn how to swim fairly well by the end of next week.

I also saw a few people I hadn't seen since high school!  It was great seeing them and catching up a little bit.
Tomorrow, I guess I get to don the swimming attire and jump in with Eli, since he can't touch the bottom of the pool.  I didn't know about that little tidbit until one of the instructors told me. EEK! 

After swimming lessons, we headed straight home so I could finish up laundry, pay a few bills, and do a little more cleaning, since I'm not going to be home most of the day tomorrow.  (Eye appointment for me and mom @11:00; Dentist appointment for Eli @ 2:00; swimming lessons @ 5:15 . . .)  I hope I can make it through tomorrow! 

July 18, 2010

Today I'm thankful for unexpected photo opportunities. 

After church, I fixed a quick lunch and tried to get the kids to lay down and rest with me.  After two nights of very little sleep, I was feeling the need for a nap!  Unfortunately the kids didn't take very long naps, as Dave had promised them we would all go to a "new" golf course after nap time.

I would have much rather stayed at home and rested, but the lure of new photo opportunities won out over the nap.

We hadn't tried the course at Warsaw before, so it was a new "treat".  Dave and Bayleigh practised on the driving range while Eli and I practised on the putting green.

Needless to say . . . with the heat and the short attention span, Eli was done rather quickly.

And he wanted to explore the driving range with Dave and Bayleigh.

It looks like a pretty nice place to play a game of golf  . . .

and I'm sure we'll be back again soon.

After Dave and Bayleigh finished up, we drove around to the beach and picnic areas, and then checked out the little park by the dam.

There were several people sitting on the bank, trying to catch fish . . .

and we saw a huge flock of blue herons.  One right after the other.  I wish I'd had my zoon lens.  (If you look closely at the photo above, you can see one flying right above the water, right about the middle of the photo.)

After we finished cruising around, we ate at the Mexican restaurant, did a little grocery shopping and headed home.  It was an exhausting afternoon, but I'm glad the kids had fun.