Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pontotoc Lions Club 5K Run -- March 28, 2009

After the race was over, we took all the runners for an ice cream at McDonald's -- at least that was the plan. When we got to the restaurant, we found out that the ice cream machine was broken. The kids had fun eating lunch together and visiting.
These two pictures together is all of the Spartans that ran this first race of the cross-country season. We focus more on running in 5K races than in actual cross-country events. I only brought my small camera and it does not back up as far as my big camera and I could not get everyone in the same picture together. What a group of kids. They love to run together and be together.
On your mark, get set, GO!! And they're off!!
Alec finishes officially in 28:45 in 41st position overall. A great time for his first race of the year. Last year, his first race time was in the 4o minute range. He ran the whole race without stopping -- way to go, Alec. It was half way through the season last year before he could say that.
Kirsten finishes the race with an official time of 32:54 and in 60th place overall. That comes close to her best time ever of 30:30 and we are proud of her for running the whole race except for the 10 steps she took to catch her breath along the way.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Botanical Garden in Huntsville

We stopped at the Botanical Gardens on our way home. They had beautiful flowers, that were already blooming, and displays of BIG BUGS such as this ladybug. The kids enjoyed the flowers, but they couldn't wait to find all ten of the big bugs. This is one of the GIANT ants on display. There were two more in this field. The kids were excited that they could stand up under the ant. Kirsten knows how to pose for pictures
Taking time out of the bug search for a picture on this neat bridge.
The kids thought that this Assassin Bug was neat, although they thought it was a spider at first.
This truly beautiful tulip was one of many gorgeous flowers that we saw. I thought the colors were magnificent.
EWWW! See the giant spider on the spider web. The kids tried to pretend they were the prey of the spider trapped on its web.
This giant chair was a lot of fun for the kids to sit in. It is located in the Children's Garden section. They had a storybook section; a rainbow flower bed; and a flower maze. It was a truly unique place to visit. I am glad we took the time to visit before we left.

More Pictures from the Space Center

The kids pose together in front of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Standing under the replica of the Saturn V Rocket -- there are not enough words to describe how truly massive this rocket really is. The Davidson Center has one of these rockets lying on its side and it is so long and what is most amazing is how much of the rocket is used up and detached and how small the section is that the astronauts actually use while in space. It was an eye-opening experience for the kids. Kirsten and Steven take a turn at climbing the rock wall. Kirsten made it most of the way to the top, but got stuck and couldn't figure out how to make it the rest of the way. She has been to the top of other walls before. Steven made it up almost halfway before he made his descent back to the floor.

Space Center

Alec tried to climb the rock wall at the Space Center. He has tried in the past and not made it to the top and was determined to make it this time. He tried but did not make it all the way; even though, he made it farther than he had before. A family picture in front of a replica of the Saturn V rocket. Alec begged and begged to ride the Space Shot -- a ride that shoots you up a LONG way and then drops you straight down and then back up and down. It actually is over quite quickly unless you are one of the ones actually riding it. I couldn't let Alec ride all by himself, so I rode it with him. I used to enjoy these rides when I was a teenager, but realized about three years ago that I don't love them any more. Alec however, got off shouting, "THAT WAS AWESOME!"
Alec and my trip straight up in the air. It wasn't over fast enough for me.
Kirsten wanted to take her turn after Alec loved it so much. She told me at first that there was no way that she was getting on this ride. While Alec and I were strapping in to ride the first time, she decided that she wanted to get on. Alec wanted to go again and Stevie loved it too so he said that he would go again with the kids. I would have ridden it again so the kids did not go by themselves, but I was happy that he was willing to go with them.

Putt-putt Golf

Alec has been waiting to go play putt-putt since last year. We decided that since it was his birthday, we would take the kids to play while in Huntsville. There was a course that had a space theme that we wanted to play on but it was being renovated, so we settled for the safari theme course. Alec, Kirsten and Steven posing in front of the giraffe. The kids had a fantastic time playing even though they didn't score very well. They are too interested in going faster, faster rather than in taking their time and lining up their shots. However, they each managed to hit a hole in one on different holes and were really excited about it.

Scavenger Hunt for Alec's Birthday

For Alec's 9th Birthday, my mother gave him his scavenger hunt that he has been begging for. She made up 20 clues and he had to find each one to receive the money inside. The gift he received from Mitch and me.
Showing off his loot to his cousins.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Huntsville Here We Come!

We are leaving in a little while to drive to Huntsville, AL. to visit the Space Center. Today, happens to be Alec's birthday and he wants to play putt-putt tonight when we get there. Tomorrow, we will visit the space center. I will be posting pictures after we return on Saturday. The Thomas family from Marion, AR, are joining us. Their son Steven is 10 and fits right in with Kirsten and Alec. We have vacationed with them many times before and always have a marvelous time.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Has Sprung and So Have the Flowers!!

Here is my beautiful Kirsten in front of the beautiful flowers. My handsome Alec who will be 9 tomorrow!! He is such a blessing in our lives!!
My two precious children who look like they enjoy being together don't they? On some occasions they simply love each other; on others, I have to make them like each other.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More Fun Outside

The kids invented a new game using this strong cardboard tube. They rolled it down the hill and then the other kids tried to jump over it, run down the hill, and jump over it again. They were all trying to jump it three times in a row, but no one was able to do it although they got really close. What a big group of kids!! As you can see, our "tent city" got a little bigger. We had 13 children over playing for a good part of the afternoon. The two small tents were not enough so Lisa and I each pulled our tents out of storage and put them up so they could all play. They played in the tents from 11:30 - 7:30. What a fun day!
All the kids wanted to "walk" the tube, much like log rollers do. I got them all together for a group photo, and then let them have at it. Alec was pretty good at it. Of course, they all got to arguing over whose turn it was next, so we had to put it away.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Too Pretty for School, Too Pretty to Clean

Today, it was too pretty to stay inside and do school. I know that there will be alot of days like this and we can't skip every day, but today it seemed like the right thing to do. The kids were making their own tents out of sheets to play in and I told Kirsten and Alec they could set up their small tents. Alec is eating his lunch outside at his "campsite."
Brandon and Parker share their lunch on a quilt. Kirsten is happy to be inside her tent while eating her lunch. They are also listening to a tape of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Claire and Jackson are eating their lunch on a quilt while listening to the story.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Busy Week

Kirsten and Claire started taking art about 2 years ago. They really enjoy taking from Ms. Vicki. Kirsten drew this daffodill picture on Tuesday and did the spin art as well. They enjoy the class also, because their friends are in the class also -- Margaret, Martha, Molly, Sophie and Scarlett as well as two other girls they do not know outside of art. Ms. Vicky always makes sure they draw something beautiful. Monday, I worked at the pharmacy and did not get any schoolwork done. Tuesday, we went running from 9:00 - 10:00; got ready for Tupelo and left by 11:00; got home at 3:00; went walking until 4:30; came home and got ready to get to Fit Kids in New Albany by 5:30 (I walked for an hour and then did spin class for an hour); came home to watch The Biggest Loser on TV and obviously did not do any school that day. I don't feel too bad about it though as the kids were able to run 2 miles without stopping and that hasn't happened in a while. I walked/ran 8 1/2 miles and rode a bike for an hour. Wednesday, my intention was to do a couple days worth of school in one, but that plan fell through, although we did get one day's worth accomplished. Thursday we did get two days worth done and started on Friday's work; after all it rained most of the day. I also went to the gym to run/walk and do another spin class. On Friday, I worked again and came home to extra kids at my house, so we had a very full week. I wish I could say that I was planning on doing nothing today except being lazy, but I need to run today and catch up on my housework. Don't you wish that housework would disappear forever?
I am attempting to do a run/walk program that I found in my runner's magazine that is supposed to get you ready to run a 5K in 10 weeks. Today is the last day of my third week and I am excited to say that I have done everything just as I am supposed to do. I will let you know next week if I can still be excited. The first week, I walked 5 minutes and ran 2 minutes and repeated that process 3 times (for a total of four times). The second week, I walked 5 minutes and ran 3 minutes and repeated again for a total of four times. This third week, I walked 5 minutes and ran 5 minutes for a total of three times. Next week, I am supposed to walk 5 minutes and run 8 minutes for a total of two times. I am really dreading that 8 minute run and I watch my time so carefully now when I only have to run 5 minutes. I am so tired at the end of 3, 4, and 5 minutes that I cannot imagine doing 8. But I said that last week about 5 minutes, so we will see what happens tomorrow. The program says to run 4 days a week and my schedule right now is Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Of course, that means that I run Saturday and Sunday back to back but otherwise it works out pretty great. And I try to remember, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. The kids are running a 5K on March 28 in Pontotoc and are really excited to see how well they can do. They are also running one on April 18 in Ripley and I am thinking about doing that one also, but I have not sent in my form yet, I wanted to see how the next couple of weeks go first. My run on Thursday, I went 3 miles total in 35 minutes so that is better than any of my previous 5K times.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Incredible Sermon

Today, our pastor Isaac Guess preached a powerful sermon from Eph. 5:18-21. He has been preaching on this passage for several weeks but brought to light some things that I have never considered before. He began by talking about the authority of God and how we must place ourselves under the influence of the Spirit of God. All authority belongs to God -- excluding NOTHING!! He even has authority over our sin of pride. He can and does make us submit to His authority. He brought up a comparison to the military. The following are notes that I took during his sermon: "When you join the military you are no longer an individual, you are now part of something that is bigger than yourself. You sign away your rights to many aspects of your life. You are under the authority of the military. This is a form of discipline designed to make you work as a group; this prevents chaos. This breaks your individuality, you are now part of a team. Christians are to do voluntarily what people are forced to do in the military. We are unable to meet God in peace without submission. We have fled to refuge to Christ. Submit yourself to the authority of Christ, the God of all things in the universe. He decides my activities, my food, my sleep -- He governs all. Complete submission goes against the grain of humans. I have no where else to flee -- this is the best thing for Christians. We actually find freedom under this submission to Christ. Be relinquishing our own self, motivation, plan of life -- we find freedom. There is no substitute for submitting to the authority of Christ who wants the very best for me. We are not supposed to think of submission only in terms of the law. Think of it in terms of relationship, connection to Jesus Christ. We are the sheep of His pasture, His possession, His treasure, His purchase. The relationship we have with Christ is love. We place ourselves under the authority of Christ because we love Him. Love is the most powerful of motivators. Submit in the fear of Christ (fear here is respect; the fear of disappointment). Love allows us to accomplish things that we could not accomplish otherwise. I am His and He is mine. The gospel can cause us to submit and make us happy about it. We should never plan to disappoint our Savior. We should dread the thought of being a castaway. We can find the grace of joy and life by submitting ourselves to Jesus Christ." These are the notes that I took. Anyone who knows Bro. Isaac, knows that he can talk five times faster than I can write. Everything he said was so powerful and true, that I wrote it down the best that I could. It has given me a lot to think about this coming week. I know that he spoke with more clarity than I could capture in my notes, but I wanted to post it to remind me of everything he said.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Family Night

I finally broke down and bought a fourth Wii Controller for our Wii console, so that all four of us could play a game at the same time. The kids were really excited; before we had to take turns and somebody always had to wait. We played bowling first!! I won the game and I am not sure how that happened. In real life, I cannot bowl over 100, in Wii I scored 168. We had fun doing it! Then we played 4-player Mario Kart Racing -- one of Alec's favorite games. I am really good at playing Mario Kart on the Nintendo 64 (an older version) -- matter of fact, most of the time I can't get anyone to play against me. Kirsten actually won last night with Alec a close second. We played 4 different tracks and I actually came in first on one of the tracks. We made them choose tracks that are very similar to the 64 version. It doesn't matter what game we play or what movie we watch or what book we read, the kids love family night and so do we.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

"Red-neck Winter Fun"

This is what Red-necks, aka southern folks, do when they get some snow. We do not invest money in sleds for the ONE day a year that we get enough snow to play in. However, our kids do not need sled to have fun down the hillside. They played for almost 2 hours before the snow started to melt and we had to get ready for church. When we got home from church, there was still some snow in shady areas and Kirsten used a little to make a snowman. I think he is SUPER CUTE!!

Beautiful Snow

Sunday morning came very early for Alec -- he woke up at 4:00 am and then woke Kirsten up and told her that it had snowed some more! He was kind enought to wait until 5:00 to wake me up. I was pretty grouchy and told him to go back to bed. We all got up around 7:00, got dressed, and went outside to play. It was so beautiful! There is nothing quite as breathtaking as the earth covered in a blanket of snow. I love to walk in untouched snow. Kirsten and Alec couldn't wait to go sledding, make snow angels, and throw snowballs at each other.
These pictures I snapped to show how deep the snow was. I know that it was not very deep, but it is so beautiful!!