Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Health Works in Tupelo

This morning, we went to New Albany for track practice. We decided to treat the kids to a trip to Health Works in Tupelo after practice.
This is a big brain on display. All of the kids were very interested in this brain.
Jackson, Preston, Kirsten, Claire, Parker, Brandon, and Alec all enjoyed their trip.
Trying to make healthy food choices was the purpose of this display.
This display shows you how long you have to exercise to burn off the extra calories from a super-size drink.
Alec is using hand motions to push good foods to the good side and bad foods to the bad side.
Alec dances on this floor piano -- it also did other things like dodgeball. This was his favorite thing to do at Health Works.
Parker and Brandon try their hand at the Grossology game. Lisa, my mother, and I spent some of our time trying to beat each other in our knowledge of gross things.
Kirsten tries to beat Alec's score at this game.
Kirsten also enjoyed dancing on the floor piano.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fun Week at Camp Moriah

Well, we survived another fun week at Camp Moriah, our church camp, located in north Mississippi. My kids and I stayed in our camper and enjoyed our air conditioning on the extremely hot days. Some years the temperature is not too hot, but not this year.
Alec plays kickball with the 11 year old and under group.
Kirsten plays ultimate frisbee with a group of kids.
Three years ago, a young man started The Challenge -- a workout/running exercise that takes place from 6:30 to 7:00 every morning. The exercises are tough and so is the run. Alec and Brandon got up every morning to participate. Kirsten only made it one morning and the rest of the mornings she slept in.
This is a picture of Kirsten's Bible study group, which meets for a hour every day.
This is Alec's Bible study group.
We have arts and crafts everyday, but the favorite of all the campers is T-shirt painting day which happens on Thursday. Everyone paints their own shirt and the creativity of some of the campers is really amazing. For others, they just enjoy the craft.
Kirsten paints her t-shirt.
All the campers are broken down into counselor groups. Alec's group is the 9-10 year old boys. They meet every day at quiet time for 30 minutes and also for an hour before bedtime for cabin devotions. All the groups perform a song or skit during evening worship during the week. Alec's group performed a skit depicting Daniel in the lion's den. It was pretty entertaining.
Kirsten's group of 11-12 year old girls performed two songs for the whole camp.
This year we had a water balloon fight for the campers 11 years old and younger. Everyone got 3 balloons each (we had over 80 participants). They also gave a prize for the most balloons picked up after the fight. Alec was more focused on picking up the trash than he was on hitting other campers with the balloons.
Kirsten is deciding her strategy before the fun begins.
It was a fun experience to watch and for the kids to do.
Another annual event is to throw the headmaster into the lake at the end of the week. Several people get together to decide when and how to make this happen. The headmasters are always a good sport about it and don't put up much of a fight. The smaller children enjoy the spectacle very much.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Kids Triathlon in Jackson, MS

This morning we got up early and drove to the triathlon starting spot. We were supposed to be there by 6:45 so that all the racers could get "tattoo-ed" (actually, they just got their numbers drawn on their arms and legs; but the kids called them tattoos.) There was a meeting with the racers at 7:30 explaining the course and the rules.
Alec shows off his tattoo - number 40.
Kirsten shows her double tattoo. Kirsten sits by the pool thinking about the event.
Alec is trying to size up his competition.
This is the group that had the senior girls (Martha, Margaret and Kirsten). The competitors were broken down into senior boys and senior girls (11-14) and junior boys and junior girls (7-10).
Alec swims his laps when the junior boys were swimming. Alec and Kirsten both struggled with the swim part of the triathlon, but they both made up time in the transition and the bike part. We decided with all the cross-country training that they have, that they were ahead of some of the kids when it came to the running portion.
Alec during his transition from swimming to biking. I could not get pictures of the girls during this portion because he was still in the pool when they were starting their biking. Steve and Yonea said that Kirsten passed several people in the transition because she changed so quickly.
Alec is finishing the biking part and getting ready to park his bike and start running.
Here he is at the finish line. His time was 25:27 and we are so pleased with his first time competing in a triathlon. He finished 15th overall in the junior division and 12th in the boys section.
This is Kirsten when she was finishing her bike part and transitioning to the running part.
Here she is crossing the finish line. She had a time of 48:31 and finished 23rd overall and 10th in her senior girls group. She did awesome!
Margaret, Martha, Kirsten, and Alec celebrate the fact that they are now called Tri-Athletes.
Martha was amazing -- she finished 7th overall (that includes the boys) and won a 2nd place trophy in the senior girls.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Kids Triathlon

We are leaving today to travel to Jackson, MS, so the kids can compete in a real Kids Triathlon. Alec has to swim 100 meters, bike 3.1 miles, and run 0.6 miles (he is in the junior division); Kirsten has to swim 200 meters, bike 6.2 miles, and run 1.2 miles. Two of Kirsten's best friends are also competing and the kids are all nervously excited. We practiced the transition from one event to another several times on Wednesday. They have never been timed on changing clothes and putting on bike equipment before. I am hoping that they will go all out and not let some tiredness slow them down. When they practiced all the events on Sunday, Alec's time was under 30 minutes and Kirsten's was under 45 minutes. We are hoping that they will be faster on race day when the adrenaline kicks in. We are coming back on Saturday after the competition is over and then finish packing for church camp which we leave for on Sunday afternoon. I enjoy all of these events but I am looking forward to Sunday of next week, when all of our scheduled activities will be over and I can get back to normal.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer Haircuts

I took the kids to get their hair cut this afternoon. Kirsten has been begging for at least 2 months now to get hers cut short. I finally agreed and she got it cut today...
I think they both look adorable. Kirsten is over the moon excited about her hair. Alec is just happy that the cut is over. He does not like to get his hair cut very often. I wanted it short for church camp which starts next week. He will be glad later that it is short.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

New Bloggers

My sister just started a blog (mainly so her daughter could have one) and then she set Claire up with a blog also. Lisa's blog is jlnewell.blogspot.com and Claire's is hannahclaire10.blogspot.com. I told her that I would post these on my blog so that others could find hers. She doesn't plan on doing much blogging but I am sure that we can convince her how much fun it is to blog.

Pictures From Running Camp

This picture was taken at the "special" place, as all the kids called it. It was a perfect place to play in the water without the lifejackets that Ms. Heather insisted that everyone wear. All 21 of the girls are in this picture. We had 22 girls for part of the time, but one had to leave early.
Running through the water to the drop off spot. Running up a hill for speedwork.
Doing some strength training with Ms. Heather.
Kirsten learns to trust her teammates in this exercise. She has to trust that her team will catch her as she falls backwards.
This exercise also requires teamwork as the girls work to untangle themselves.
Four teams of girls had to each come up with 10 reasons to run cross-country. Some were funny and some were silly and some were serious. They are all creative.
Performing strength exercises on the pier.
The girls were so tired by this point that they were struggling to complete the workout.
This is one of the hills that the kids had to tackle. There were many up and downs that they had to run and some struggled more than others but they are all much stronger now.
The girls sit on top of their pile of seaweed that they pulled out of the water. Ms. Heather had a friendly competiton between the girls and the boys over who could collect the most. The girls won and they posed for this picture to prove it.
Alec did not trust his teammates as well as Kirsten did. You are supposed to fall back and not sit down, but Alec tried it twice and sat down both times.
A teamwork exercise performed by the boys.
The boys have a chance to become untangled.
Performing a "commercial."
Ms. Heather assigned groups of 4 or 5 people to come up with ideas for commercials selling a product of their choosing. The boys came up with some good ideas and the girls did too. They were all very funny. Kirsten's group sold shoes; Alec's group sold sports beans.
Alec was so tired during this workout that he did not work out very hard.
The bigger boys decided to canoe across the lake to see a bald eagle's nest. It took them almost a half hour each way and they were really tired by the time they got back.
Alec paddles this raft out to the seaweed patch to collect some more seaweed for their pile.
Alec spent a lot of time collecting mussels from the sand along the shore.
The boys work together, or are they playing king on the mountain? Either way, they had fun.
Alec plays in the water.
The boys wait somewhat patiently while Ms. Heather goes over the rules for the water.
Ms. Heather gives instructions for the weight training exercises.
Kirsten smiles while playing with some of her BFFs.
All the girls worked well together to collect the seaweed.
Alec looks cute while waiting on instructions for what happens next.
The boys pose together.
Kirsten and Margaret paddle the canoe.
Alec and his group perform their "commercial."