So Amy says to me: "How is your running going?" I say: "How did you know about that? Did my blog finally come up?" "Yes, I read about it yesterday or this morning." "Huh, why won't my computer pull it up?" "Maybe you should try the refresh button." What do you know, it worked! Wierd!
I've been thinking that I wanted to get out and run more consistently than I have been doing. I usually manage to go about 2 or 3 times a week. But its hard, because I just go by myself, so its whenever I can squeeze it in. Some days I go around groddy all day long, waiting for a chance to go running, before I shower. Lots of times I take my two youngest children with me, in my running stroller, with the dog (a 100lb yellow lab) trotting along side. We make quite the spectacle! I've been wanting to step it up though. And I've been thinking that a running buddy would be just the thing to make sure that I went. Well, I found a whole group! Its at a time when it won't interfere with my family, and to make it even better, I will never have to find someone to watch the children while I go!
I found out about it from a new friend, Linda who I met at the half-max that Bruce and Todd did last Saturday. (That's a whole other entry). Anyway, they meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:00am, and on Saturdays at 7:00am, at the local gym. They run about six miles on Tue & Thur and a bit longer on Sat. Something like that, I think. Well, I went on Tuesday, and to my surprise, I had absolutely no problem keeping up at all. I felt great when we were done! Wowie! Wow! Wow! Wow!! I believe that I will go with them all the time! Then, if I just add a run or two in of my own during the week, I'll be doing great! Its so wonderful to have people to run with! This could be perfect! (Am I using enough exclamation marks?) The only problem will be to get out of bed at 4:30. I can do it though, I just need to make it to bed approximately when the kids go to bed. I've always been a morning person anyway. Time will tell if I can manage it. I am way excited to have a group to run with! Can you tell?
I'm officially one of those stupid people! The other day, I was using the computer when a big thunder clap came up and the electricity went off for a second. (I know, you aren't supposed to use the computer in a thunder storm, but it really wasn't thundering much until just then). When I next tried to go online, it wouldn't go. I did all of the things that I know how to do to fix the problem (which isn't much). I spent an probably an hour trying to figure it out, but to no avail. Yesterday was extremely busy, so I didn't have time to think about it. So, today, I finally give in and call tech. support. As helpful as they are, I hate tech. support! It usually takes forever to fix the problems, and I have a hard time understanding most of what they say. After about an hour and a half of talking to three different tech support guys, the problem shows its face. The router needed to be reset. It got confused in the power outage. All I had to do was to unplug the darned thing and plug it back in! What a dork! DUH! Isn't that one of the first things that you are supposed to do? Unplug! Argh! Here's yer sign!
That's twice that I've tried to attach pictures and they haven't worked! What's the deal?! Blogger, you suck! I'll try it on this post, we'll see? I'm posting a picture of our vacation group. Incase you want to know who everyone is, here's the Lt. to Rt. (this is hard to do, because we aren't in exact rows): In the very back is Bruce (my hubby), Chance (his cousin), K.T. (Chance's mother), Brett H. (Terrah's hubby), and Bret M. (Sara M.'s hubby). In the next sort of row is Me, Sara A. (Chance's girlfriend), Terrah (Bruce's sister), Taylor (daughter of Sara & Bret M.). Marilou (Bruce's mother) is peeking out between Taylor and Sara M. (Marilou's sister). Then there is Grant (son of Sara & Bret M.), and Terry (Bruce's dad). That brings us to the kids in the front. There is Erin (Terrah & Brett H.'s daughter), Justice (my son), Lydia (my daughter), Ross (my son), Ethan (Terrah & Brett H.'s son), Mark (my son), and Ike (Sara A.'s son). Are you confused?
Went to Branson with Bruce's side of the family. We had a wonderful time!! We went to Silver Dollar City two days in a row. Silver Dollar City totally blows Six Flags out of the water!!! The lines were a lot shorter, and things there were more reasonably priced. We all had a really good time! Mark got up at 6:30 am on the second day, got dressed, brushed his teeth, and said that he was ready to go. We went to the Dixie Stampede. That was as great as always. Justice got ahold of my soup bowl (he's got very fast hands) and flung the contents all over the place. Then we went to the Bass Pro Shop, in Springfield on the way back. Bruce wanted to move in there directly. I think that the B.P.S. is Bruce's idea of heaven.
We mostly shared a large condo. Sara and Bret and fam. stayed at a different place, but the rest of us stayed together. It was actually 3 condos stuck together, so we had plenty of room. It was neat to all stay together like that. And it was also good that we all had our own space there. There was enough room for us to spread out, and we didn't feel like we were on top of one another. Everyone got along really well, and we just had a great time!
I went running with Terry and Brett H. a couple of times while we were there. Branson has a LOT of hills, long and steep ones, did you know that? Holy Cow, we ran some whoppers! My booty is a little sore. I can't believe it, but Terry said that he was really surprised and impressed with how I am running these days! (You'll have to pardon the brag, but I'm really excited about it). I always run by myself, and I hadn't noticed that I was making any remarkable progress. Maybe you don't notice so much if you are always by yourself. Or maybe he's crazy, I don't know. I hardly ever measure my distance to see how far / how fast I am going, so I really don't know. I've run with Terry many times before, but its been a long time. He said that there were a couple of times when I was pushing him. I have a hard time believing that one. He is coming back from an injury, so its not like he's his normal self. I don't know what to think. He says that he thinks I could out run Bruce! I don't think so, but we'll have to see. He said that if the challenge of the bluffs race was next week, I'd be ready. I've never even considered doing that one. It just sounded too scary! It's five miles; about 60 percent of it is uphill. Its in three weeks. Maybe I'll try it! I wonder how much the entry fee is? Maybe Terry is off of his rocker! I don't know. This officially concludes my brag!
Yesterday, I was trying to get something done. A feat that is always met with much opposition from my children and my pets, who always try to thwart these efforts with endless whinings, requests for all sorts of things, and all manner of ruckuses. I was getting frustrated, and showing it. Mark came in with a rose that he had picked from outside, and says, "Here's a rose for you 'cause you sure are being crabby!" --too funny! Well, I must once again try the impossible--to get things done! --ta ta!
I've gotten myself into a tradition which I now have to uphold. I'm just afraid that one of these years my ideas will run out, and I'll be forced to do something lame. For the past several years, on Trent's birthday, I've given him his present in an odd way. I always come up with some trial that he has to go through before he can get his present.
It all started one year, when I hadn't managed to make it to the store to buy him an actual present (and I had no good ideas that I could just buy real fast on the way to their house). So, I was forced to give him a lame check for money. LAME! LAME! LAME! (Wow, I've used that word a lot in this post. I think I'll say it again, just for fun! LAME, LAME, LAME, LAME, LAMEY LAMEY, LAME, LAME!) Anyway, I determined that while the gift itself might be lame --ha ha, I said it again-- the presentation would be amusing, at least. So, it unwrapped like so: The old huge box wrapped a million times, and you keep unwrapping to smaller and smaller boxes with layers of things like duct tape, toilet paper, and such. Except that eventually he came to two smaller boxes, within the many layers, in the huge box. Again, these two boxes are wrapped a thousand times on the inside. One of the boxes only has a small worthless piece of wood, a wheel off of an old toy truck, and a candle that melted in the attic till it was flattened sideways. The other box eventually held his present, the check, which was inside of two zip-lock bags rolled up, inside a soda bottle full of vegetable oil, ketchup, chunks of bread, water, and all kinds of nasty things.
The next year was this, I had reserved him a copy of latest Lord of the Rings movie, which came out on DVD a couple of weeks later. So, I made up a treasure hunt ranging all over the place, so he had to run upstairs, downstairs, outside, inside, etc. The final clue was hidden in a soda bottle, filled with rocks, in the middle of the swimming pool. This, was a letter telling him what we'd gotten him, but the letter was encoded.
The year after that, we had his birthday at our house. We'd combined it with our annual end of summer party that we have with Bruce's side of the family. So, my inlaws were there. Trent was at this time 14, and like the rest of my siblings, shy around people that he doesn't know so well. I therefore gave his present to Bruce's Aunt Sarah before he got there. When present time came, I told him that he had to go around the room and sing this song to each person, until he found the one who had his present: "Oh I'm the happy birthday boy, Even though I drool, So won't you please give me my present 'Cause Carl Sagan is cool!" (he hates Carl Sagan)
Last year, I made him about a dozen little pies, in muffin tins, under each pie was a letter. When unscrambled, the letters would spell what his present was. He had to eat them all. Actually, we ended up letting the children help.
This year I made up a Harry Potter trivia page. I made it fairly difficult, but not impossible. I had a jar of money with me and I gave him a dollar for every question that he got correct. He did better than Bruce and John had done when I tested them! He got over half of them right.
Well, I made it again! And I didn't end up walking (I was a little afraid that I might). I didn't have much time to get ready for this one. Too many kidlets running around to be able to get out as much as I'd have liked to. I only got to ride my bike once before the race this year. My time was 1:30:25. This is my 2nd best time, out of four years. The best time was the only year, so far, that I've done it when I hadn't either been pregnant or had a baby within the past 6 months. Here's the breakdown:
2001 1:37:51 -- pregnant with Mark 2002 1:35:08 -- gave birth 4 months earlier 2003 1:29:14 -- nothing to prohibit 2004 did not compete -- too poor, or too tight to put up the entry fee 2005 did not compete -- too pregnant 2006 1:30:25 -- gave birth 6 months earlier
I know that my times aren't all that competitive. I came in 44th of 96 women (10th of the 19 women in my age bracket). I guess that pretty much makes me exactly in the middle. But, overall I am happy with what I did. Next year I'll really do good. I'm planning to do a 10 mile run in November. I'll have to start stretching my run out a bit! Something to keep me in shape! I want to find one race to do every season, so I'll always have something to be working up to.
The triathlon is becoming something of a family tradition. This year, Bruce, his dad, all of my siblings (John, Todd, Ashley and Trent) and myself all competed. Terry (Bruce's dad), Todd, Ashley and Trent all placed in their age divisions. Of the seven of us, here's how we came in:
Todd 1:09:34 John 1:16:58 Terry 1:17:17 Trent 1:19:25 Bruce 1:23:24 Renae 1:30:25 Ashley 1:40:04
We made the front page of the local newspaper! There's a picture of Terry running away from the pool, with Lydia and McKenna Wall cheering, and Marilou taking her notes. She sits on the corner every year, with 3 stop watches on her wrist, and records our times out of the pool and for every lap around on our bikes & on foot. She keeps these forever for comparisons. She still has my times from five years ago.
I took my camera, so I could get pics of all of us together, or so someone could take pics of the race itself. However, the only pictures that I got were of Justice tasting his first pizza, at the feast afterwards. Oh well!
I can NEVER stay on top of the laundry around here! With six of us, its too much. It seems like someone wets the bed at least every other night. Last week all of my children got sick, each on separate days, which, of course, brings lots of washing blankets. I've been doing laundry non-stop for a couple of days now. Now its raining, so my children, plus Noelle (our favorite extra child) have been playing in the rain and taking our 100 lb dog with them. This is good fun for all of them, so I don't mind. But it brings wet towels all around and about a million soaked outfits for me to wash. (Especially since they've done it twice today). To top it off, Bruce has the tent set up outside, because he and the 3 older kids had sleep outs there. Fun, fun fun! However, now all of their bedding out there is probably soaked! MORE LAUNDRY! Oh well! Everyone is happy, and having fun. I have to choose which things to get stressed out about, and this is not one of them.
Here's a couple of pics of my "mountains," as I call them. The one on the table is dirty cloths and blankets, the other is my clean and needs to be folded pile. This is all before today, and in between sick kids. Its shameful, I know!
This is day three of my experiment. So far, so good! I've made a new program for TV watching around here. As is far too common, I found that my children were wasting entirely too much time in front of the TV. It was completely, and woefully out of control. This is what I did. I made stickers with all of their favorite programs and computer games on them. Some, which were more educational, had a green border around them. The others, which were pure entertainment, had a red border around them. I printed out a schedule of when each show was on, and which shows were which color. (Fortunately, we don't have anything but standard TV, no satellite, cable or anything. I've always felt that I had enough TV on my hands without all of that. So, most all that my children watch is PBS, but even with just that, it can get really out of hand). I made each child a chart. They are allotted 2 red shows (or 2 half hours), and four greens per day Mon.-Thur. Friday and Saturdays, they can have 4 half hours of reds and 4 of green. On Sundays, we only watch "Sunday movies" anyway, so that one isn't so hard to manage. This still might be too much TV, but its a vast improvement. And actually 2/3 of what they are watching M-T is educational. They still get to watch TV, but now I'm not constantly telling them to turn the thing off. They are figuring out how to regulate it themselves. Instead of turning it on first thing in the morning and just mindlessly watching whatever happens to be on, they are saying "Do I really want to waste a 'red show' on this?" I've seen the TV go on, and then straight off again. Its great! Ross did that this morning, then went and turned on a Reader Rabbit game. (Reader Rabbit, being all reading and math exercises, is free). Right now, they are in their room playing with legos. (Something, till now, completely undiscovered).
You know its funny, I've always thought that if the TV were to suddenly go away, that they would drive me crazy with being underfoot, and noisy, and in my face. But it really hasn't been that way. They've done more of playing outside, or in their room. The mess factor really hasn't changed either. They were just as messy when they were watching TV half of the day. All in all, I'm very happy with this program! Now its just a matter of making it stick, and knowing when to bend the rules (if a sitter comes over) and when not to. So far its been great!
I've wanted to write down all of the funny things that John and I did when we were little for a long time. A blog seems like a great place to share the fun! There are so many of them, that they will need their own blog. I'm giving Johnny access to the new blog, so he can add some of his memories too. Check it out! We were quite wacky kids, it'll be a laugh! Here's the address: http://johnandrenae.blogspot.com You can also access it through this blog. If you scroll to the bottom of my profile, there will be a link. Enjoy!
Here's a story that Ross told us last night. I did my best to write it down as he was narrating:
The Dangerous Box -- by Ross, age six
Once there was a Dangerous Box. Since the first professor died, there's only one professor now. And the professor was working in his office one day. But today, since his bug, boss professor was dead, he had to study rugs.
The rugs were in boxes that were old. The last box was the Dangerous Box. But he did not open it, because he knew it was the Dangerous Box. He saw his bug, professor teacher open it. He saw that this was no ordinary box. When his bug, professor teacher opened it, he saw that the rug inside made it even more dangerous. He didn't open it.
He went to bed early, because he was so tired from studying rugs all day. But at night a big boy and his little sister snuck in. They didn't know that the glowing box was the Dangerous Box. They thought the professor just put a flashlight on to see the Box. They got the professor's opening tools and opened the Box.
Their mother and father never saw their children again! The Dangerous Box had the power to kill people.
Here's something that I've started doing for fun. I put on my head phones, stick in a cd, sit down at the piano, and try to play along. Its fun eartraining practice. I'll start out with either the bass, or the melody, then I'll try to add more. I like to see how much of the song I can pick out before the song is over. I'm not very good at it, but I'll get better. Its amusing.
This is totally cool! I've been a library patron forever. I frequent all of the libraries in the area, because they all have different things. They probably get really annoyed with me for returning 30 or so items to the wrong libraries on a regular basis. I don't go to the same library twice in a row, hardly. Of course I know that you can request things from the other libraries anytime, but I've never done it because I don't want the bother of bothering other folks with my requests. Yes, I know that they have interconnected catalogs at all of the libraries, but I am a dork, and I hate to use them at the library, because I have 4 children who are running around all the while, which makes using the computer there somewhat hard to do. I hate to bother people. I don't know why, but I'd almost cut off my own foot before I asked someone else to trim their toe nails. So, what I've been doing forever is this: I have a basic knowledge of where everything is in most of the libraries, so I just travel to all of the libraries and look on the shelves for what I want. Sometimes I find what I want, and often I don't, at which point I sigh a disappointed sigh and go on my way, without asking anybody for help. Silly, yes, but that's me. What I didn't know is that you can do it online! I don't have to bother anybody! They have a catalog online so you can see who has what in all of the libraries, then all you have to do is click, and they send it! So, the next time that I go to the library (the one that is 5 minutes down the road!) I don't have to look for what I want! They will have exactly what I want (stuff that I've been looking for unsuccessfully for a long time, and stuff that I didn't know was out there) behind the desk! Oh what joy!!! I've already requested six things from other libraries (since last night), and I have a list in my head of many more things that I want to request, but I can only use so many things at a time. Maybe I've been living in a hole, not to know that you could do this. Maybe I'm a dork for getting so excited about it, but to me, this is really cool! I've been sick of all of the inventory of all of the libraries in a 20 mile radius for a while. Yay, Yay, hooray! I don't have to travel to the far corners of the earth to get what I want anymore. Mamie and Miranda may never see me again at their library! Actually, I'm sure I'll still go to all of the libraries that I do, I love different things about them, and my kids like to go to the different ones. But I don't have to look fruitlessly anymore! Okay, I'll shut up now. Yes, I am pathetic.
It seems that Ross and Mark have come up with a new bedtime ritual. We send them both to go potty just before turning them in for the night. They've taken to going at the same time. Being boys, they can do that easily. I over heard them last night saying "Let's have a sword fight". Apparently this is a new game, urine stream sword fighting (into the toilet, but still, bound to miss). I, of course, had to put a stop to this fun game. But not before I'd had a chuckle to myself.
Have I ever said how much I love my bestfriend, Amy? I don't know why I got to be her bestfriend (okay, yes our husbands are actually our bestfriends, of course, but I mean among girls), she's way better than me! I think that Amy is just about perfect. One time, just for the heck of it, I actually tried to think of something not to like about her. I litterally could not think of a single thing not to love! No joke! I'm not sure what she likes about me, but man, am I lucky! She just posted some beautiful pics of my Justice on her blog. (No, the pictures aren't why I love Amy. She was gush-worthy way before she got into pictures!) Check then out: http://www.amyetc.typepad.com/ (I hope you don't mind the link, Amy. I thought you wouldn't mind)
I can't believe it! What a find! I just stumbled onto something really cool. Thank you to whoever did it! I really don't know who or how. I just stumbled onto about eleven cds worth of music (that I think that I will really like) in a music folder that I did not know existed on my computer!!!!! YAY YAY HOORAY!!!! Some wonderful friend of mine, with good taste, must have come over, at some point, with a bunch of cds and downloaded them onto my computer. Neither Bruce nor I can remember who or when, but what a find! My only guess is Emily McClaine, but why, I don't know. Did we need music to play for prelude at some stake choir thing? But 11 cds worth? Who knows. But way cool! This is me doing the dance of joy!!! thank you whoever you are!
On top of that Lds.org has a bunch on new music to download and lots of new sheet music. As I've been DYING for something new to play around with on my piano, this is could be really cool! Anyone who knows of some good sites to download good piano music for free, please tell me!! I've been known to spend an hour or more a day at the piano (cuz I love it, and someday I want to be really really good). But lately, I've nothing that I want to play. I'm sick of all of my music. Actually, I recently spent about $35 on new music, but that doesn't go as far as one would hope. Plus, I'm really poor, so I can't afford to do that very often. Anyway, I've played Sally DeFord to death. Love her, but I need something new. I know its out there, but where do I find all of the good music?
I found this quote in The Ensign, and I thought it was neat:
Elder Melvin J. Ballard (1873-1939) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles Taught that "all the assaults that the enemy of our souls will make to capture us will be through the flesh, because it is made up of the unredeemed earth, and he has power over the elements of the earth. The approach he makes to us will be through the lusts, the appetites, the ambitions of the flesh. All the help that comes to us from the Lord to aid us in this struggle will come to us through the spirit that dwells within this mortal body. So these two mighty forces are operating upon us through these two channels.
"...If you would have a strong spirit which has dominance over the body, you must see to it that your spirit receives spiritual food and spiritual exercise...
"The man or woman who is taking neither spiritual food nor spiritual exercise will presently become a spiritual weakling, and the flesh will be master. Whoever therefore is obtaining both spiritual food and exercise will be in control over this body and will keep it subject unto the will of God."
My children are growing up so fast. I miss them already. When they are around, its so easy to wish that they would go outside, be quiet, leave me alone. But now that that beloved hour of quiet has come, they are fast asleep in their beds, I have a quiet house, to myself, at last... I sit here and look at their pictures, I miss them, I really want to spend that quality time with them. I wonder if I was nice enough today, Did I teach them good things today? Or did I set a bad example? Do they know how much I love them, Or do they think that I care more about the house being clean? Its going by so fast. Why can't somebody just shake me, and make me pay attention to them while they are here? All too soon, the house will stay too clean, too quiet, The toothpaste lid won't be all guncky, No muddy footprints on the bathroom sink. and I'll be too lonely. I miss them already.
Uncle David was cleaning out the garage of Francis, the grouchy old lady that lived next door to us when we were little. As he was cleaning, he ran across this: On the backside: HA!!!! HA!!!!!! HHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bruce and I went out for our 12th anniversary on Saturday. We went to a restaurant (which is supposed to be one of those fine dining hoopla places). Anyway, the waitress that we had must have been having an off night or something. (That, or she is in need of being let go). Bruce and I were cracking up at how many things she screwed up! We really weren't upset at all; it was just so funny! First, she brought me an iced tea, instead of the water that I ordered. No big deal. Then she swore mildly as she was taking it away. Next, she took our orders and couldn't remember if what I had ordered came with sides or not, so she had to go to the back to ask. Again, not a big deal. When she brought us our meals, she didn't bring Bruce's potatoes at all. (He never got them). Then twice during our meal, she came by to drop off sides that we hadn't ordered at all. Wierd! Bruce and I were laughing our butts off! When she came with our ticket, we paid with a gift certificate. She then brought us a new card with the extra left over on it. She had shorted us by about 2 or 3 dollars. Since we were paying with a gift cert., and it was free to us anyway, we just laughed some more, and tipped her between 15% and 20% anyway. Let someone else be mad at her. We had had some good entertainment, if nothing else. We then went to see the DaVinci Code, which we enjoyed.
Okay, I thought I'd try this blog thing. I don't know if anyone will actually read this. I don't have much to say right now. I need to head outside to play with my children. I'm just seeing if this is going to work.
This spot is reserved for my a select few favorites, which are guaranteed to be wholesome and wonderful in every way. EVERYONE should check these things out!
Of course I love the scriptures, but you already know that, right?