Friday, June 29, 2012

Since you've been gone . . .

Well, it's been nigh unto a coon's age since I've blogged.  It's because I've been too busy with my brood!  Since November we've had: 25 basketball games, 8 swim meets, 4 days of dance recitals, 5 math competitions, 7 track meets, 15 golf tournaments, one family tri-athalon and one half marathon.   And that's just a slice of our life.  You throw a few weddings, graduations, and a couple baby showers in there, and you have quite the overloaded life. 

In the middle of all this, we've had both lawn mowers break - at the same time, had an invasion of moths, and a few cooking episodes in which I nearly burned the house down.  We found a dead bat on the porch, and we get attacked by sparrows as we dart from the house to the car.  (We can't get the nests down, cause someone stole our extension ladder.  Which is the same reason the outside utility light has not been replaced.)

The air conditioner in our pickup quit on a 90 degree day on our way to Kentucky, so we traded it in for a van.  Can you say, 'spur of the moment'? It was actually a good choice I think.  We get to the resort, and there's a water leak in the cabin which ran all night so we had to move to another cabin the next day.  In order to fix the leak, they had to shut the water off to the whole place for half the day.  The day, mind you, of the wedding we were attending and trying to get ready for.  Fun.

Out of the blue, Gary planned this trip for he and I to go to  San Diego and just hang.  It was nice.  We drove around in this little Kia Rio, ate veggie burgers and sweet potato fries, chocolate malts made with avocados,  drank several young coconuts and heard the new Adele song about 65 times.    My daughter went to Iowa, California, and Alaska to visit some friends.  We all went to visit some friends in the Arctic Circle - or more widely known as - North Dakota - and froze.  The hosts let us stay in their pop-up camper, which is a glorified tent with a couple plastic sides. It was about 25 degrees with a breezy 40 mile an hour wind that blew ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT.  Not pleasant.  The fellowship - great - the weather - not so much.  

So - here we are, on the cusp of July - half way through 2012.  Crying about the woeful state of our nation (God help us), weeding our garden, watching Noah till 2 acres of sweet corn, and getting ready for yet another school year. 

And this is why the stay-cation was invented. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

The snow that wasn't . . .

Funny thing - weather forecasting.  My dear sister used to rant and rave over the very un-usefulness of weathermen (and women). More often than not, they are wrong - she insisted - so why do we even listen to them?  Well, this past weekend - wrong does not begin to describe it.  We were to get about 8 inches of snow with nasty, dangerous conditions on Saturday and get this - they said it was a 100% chance of that happening.  100%!  So, the men in my house cut and split a porch full of wood, weatherized stuff, packed blizzard survival gear in my car, stocked the shelves with tons of food - and what happened?

Nothing.  Not a flake in sight.

I really think when we are so absolutely 100% sure that something is going to happen - God quietly steps in and gives the Job speech.  'Oh really???  Last time I looked - you did not create the universe - nor the weather - so don't go all Titanic on me (even God can't sink this ship - really???)  - cause just as soon as you think you know - I let you know that you don't.'
Well, God - I'm thankful you are you and we are not.
And thanks for no snow, cause I for one, am sooo not ready for winter. And thanks for the sunshine. And that there is no wind.  And that it's going to get into the 40's this week!  40's!!!  In November.  In South Dakota!  Whoot!!!

And as long as I'm thanking - in the spirit of the holiday - may I add:

Thanks for you - Father - and Yahshua for mercy and salvation and your Word - and my family, and that I was born and live in this country, for its freedom - and for the awesome, spectacular, breathtaking beauty of your creation and really good food and hot running water and good health and bodies that heal and inspirational, fun friends and a daughter who dances and bakes and sews and smiles with a beautiful smile and lights up the room and boys who are hilarious and smart and inventive and a joy to watch compete and work and just - be - and a husband who provides for my over-abundance of running apparel and our wacky vegan food and angry bird tee shirts and that he can fix anything and does - and nice, helpful neighbors and warm sunshine and the safety of a small town and cute and friendly mice-catching cats and weathermen that are wrong.

So, here's to a  fantastic Thanksgiving!
Party on, Pilgrim!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Random-ness . . .

Unless you live under a rock, which apparently I did until just recently - you are aware of the Angry Bird craze that has taken over the world.  I mean, it's bad enough to have teeshirts, card games, and key chains with these colorful birds, but to sell them as dog toys?  Really?  I mean what dog plays video games and cares what its toy look like anyway?  Can you say - marketing scam??

Now, to say I hate video games is a gigantic, humongous, monumental understatement.  But when I learned that the birds are getting back at the rotten pigs who stole their baby eggs, I had to join the cause!  And so I (gulp) actually played the game.  Of course I had to have help from the resident experts (not dogs) or I wouldn't have destroyed even one fat hog.  But, all in all, it's not a bad little game.  But now each family member (almost) has the teeshirt and India even made two little stuffed birdies.  Named Rico and Pinto :)
(It's over for me, isn't it?)

It's hard enough to swim 150 laps in a day - but to swim while pushing a pumpkin with one hand is really hard. Not that I would know - but it looked hard.

It's also really, really, REALLY hard to do chin-ups.

What do you do with 40 pumpkins?  Anyone?

God made cats to catch mice.  We have 4 cats and still we have mice.  What, are these guys in a union or something?  What's the deal?  Need more pay? Better working conditions?  Not enough fringe benefits?  Come on guys!  Just give me a list of demands and then GET BACK TO WORK!
Maybe if I added '15 minutes to play Angry Birds' to their contracts . . .

Friday, October 14, 2011

Competition . . .

So, it's been all about the meets. Last Wednesday, Judah and Ez had a Mathcounts meet in a town 30 miles to the east and Noah had a cross country meet in a town 30 miles to the west.  Tag team parenting yet again.  Gary  watched the runners and I watched the mathletes. Thank God for texting so we could keep each other posted as the events were happening!  Whatever did we do before cell phones?
Anyway - the cross country race was the Conference meet and Noah got 8th overall, his best time, and his team won the whole thing!  Whoot!  Meanwhile, Ez got 4thplace among all the 8th graders and Judah placed 1st among the 7th graders!  Whoot again!

Now, I know what you're thinking - that we are celebrating a cut throat - win at all costs - kind of thinking. But I have to tell you, that's not the case.  When the boys were tots, I actually tried to make our home a non-gun zone.  It lasted 3 1/2 seconds.  Noah picked up a banana, pointed it at his brother and said, "Bang".  Then it was a lego brick and then a rolled up piece of paper. I gave up. And so it went with competition. Yes, we have always given them the 'do your best' and 'just try hard' lectures.  But I knew it was all over when they get ready to eat their cereal and yell, "Ready, set, go!" and the race is on to see who can eat the fastest. Are you kidding me?  A Eating Cereal Race? Well, you name it - they are competing about it.  I mean come on - they race to see who can get their school done first, who can shoot the K-nex piece through a football goal post with a rubber band more times without hitting someone in the eye, and who can fly through the air the farthest after jumping onto the rope swing from the tree in the front yard.  It matters not the event - they are going to try to one-up the other guy.

And so - I believe it's a forgone conclusion that it's in their DNA.

And frankly, I can not fathom where on earth they get it from . . .

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Run like the wind - or into it . . .

'You look like an Ethiopian', the cross country coach said to my eldest son.  Noah took that as a compliment and rightly so.  Long and lean (read - SKINNY) his body type does resemble those very thin marathon runners.  And he's living up to the type.  He continues to improve his time and moved up to the number 3 spot on the team.  His new 5K PR - 19:54 - so far. Not bad - for a skinny white guy.  :o
(Is it just me or do any of you ever wonder how those pencil stick-like legs can carry those guys so far and so fast? ) 

Well, it seems like the running bug has bitten a few other members of this family.  After running in the (gulp) Senior Games a few weeks ago (which, by the way, I had an absolute blast doing.  Hanging out with a gaggle of old fogies like me - barely able to bend over to tie their running shoes was super fun) there have been a series of races in the area that a couple of us decided to run.  With Gary out with a bad back/hip/leg, I roped India into running a 4K with me, which happened to land on probably one of the coldest and windiest days of the fall. (like nearly every other day in South Dakota)  All was well at first - running with the wind at our back pushing us along.  I thought, man, I could do this all day.  Then at the turn I hit the arctic blast that nearly knocked me over and I felt like I was on a treadmill.  But we trudged through - even though our legs and arms felt like icicles. Or could we even feel our legs . . . 

After we thawed out, India thought that was so much fun, (?!) she decided she wanted to run a 5K the next weekend - and roped me into it.  Turn about is fair play I guess.  But during the week, she was dancing and someone actually landed on top of her knee and tore her LCL!  Who knew dancing was a contact sport?!  Ouch - I know.  So, she wasn't up to running, but she went along anyway and kind of walked/jogged the course.  (Much against the physical therapist's advice)  It was a perfect day for a race.  51 degrees, sunny with a slight breeze.  Beautiful.  
You know what the greatest thing about these event is - the people you meet and the conversations that you have.  I love it.  (Of course, wearing those perfectly ugly 5 Finger toed running shoes is sure to garner a comment or two - and a few stares and sneers and giggles . . .)  
Side note - at this race I got my 'After Children and Now I'm Old - PR'  of 26:17.  So, that's okay too.  (For a senior citizen)

And Gary actually ran a few miles this week, so maybe he's up for a race or two now.  There's a 5k trail run this Sunday, and another 5K the following weekend.  I say - why not?   Add that to Noah's Conference, Region, and state (we hope and pray) cross country meets the next three weeks and  - wow. The miles are piling up.   

You could say we're runners - I'd say we're just - running amok . . . 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Seasons change . . .

Either I'm really getting old or I'm simply a chronic complainer - (or both) - but I am really not looking forward to the cold season that has been sprung on us.  I am so not ready for boots and hats and mitts!  :(  But last night, my cold toes were the least of our worries.  With the threat of temperatures dipping in the 20's - my sons' garden was in peril.  So, they did what every produce grower does around here - sets out to save those lovely tomatoes before old Jack Frost could get to them.  Usually that means throwing a sheet over and hope for the best.  But that was just not good enough for my young entrepreneurs.  Nope.  They had to make sure their investment was safe.  So they worked til the wee hours doing things by the book (or by the world wide web) - and then some.

First, they watered the base of all the plants til we nearly ran out of water.  Then they filled buckets with water and set them on the ground which was now an acre of mud.  Then they mounted a small space heater on a block of wood, set it in the middle and turned it on 'high'. (If it fell, it would plop into the wet mud, so we weren't too worried)  Then they covered all the plants they could with plastic from top to bottom.  And then, they prayed.

The next morning we awoke to the grass blanketed with white crunchy icy frost, and all the leaves everywhere that weren't covered were black and dead from the 28 degree temps.  A collective gasp was heard as we stared out the window.  The boys donned their hats and boots and ran out the door.  Yes, the tomatoes were saved!!  Hallelujah!  It was well worth the effort.  There are so many tomatoes still on the vines, we could not let them perish.  We need them for salsa, salads, spaghetti sauce and for our version of BLT's -  TLT's.  Tofu, Lettuce and Tomato!!   MMM!!!

So, thank you once again to the internet for helping us to find out how to do things. It never ceases to amaze me.
Now, if only we could find out how to stave off winter completely . . .

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

And then there were frogs . . .

Is this Egypt?  I have begun to think so.  As I stepped out onto the brick patio and had to dodge at least 8 little critters that were jumping from the grass to the flower bed  before hitting the driveway to begin my daily run.  By the time I hit the mail box, 4 other toady friends leapt out of my path and there were 5 more before I reached the corner.  And that's where I lost count.  Between the fields of corn and as each telephone pole rolled by, I was hopping and leaping as much as they were just so I wouldn't step on them.  It was the game Frogger in real life.  With me being the logs.  2 weeks ago they were tiny and cute.  Now - not so much.  They morphed into, well, bigger, fatter frogs and plopped aside rather than hopped.  Ick.
I fell like I'm running an obstacle course, much like the one Noah is going to run this weekend.  He'll run three miles cross country, up and down hills,  over hay bales, and through water.  Sounds like fun, doesn't it?!  I hope and pray he does really well and is happy with his race.
And I hope he doesn't meet up with any frogs along the way.

 I can see it now - The Dodging Leap Frogs Marathon.  The new craze in sport.

Now if the water turns to blood, I'll really start to worry.