Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bits and Pieces

The kids had fun playing on this blow up slide on a hot day.
Alec slides down for his turn.
Kirsten bounces down on her turn.
I got a new haircut this week. I went a lot shorter than I ever have and I think I like it, though I am not totally sure about it yet.
Kirsten got some new running spike shoes for running on cross-country trails. She is super excited about these shoes.
Today, after practice, the Spartans lined up for some relay games. They had a lot of fun and didn't realize just how much exercise they were getting.
After practice, we all met together for a pizza supper. They were very tasty and hot!
We had fun eating together to kick off our fall running season. First race is on Saturday.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


We started school on Tuesday this week and got in four good days of studying. The first two days were really fun and enjoyable, the next two were the opposite of fun and enjoyable. I will be spending much time in prayer this year for the attitudes of my "precious" children. I truly believe that the farther we get in the school year that the better they will buckle down and concentrate. Right now, I have a lot of comments like, "It's too hard!" "I don't remember how!" "You're mean!" I am also requiring them to earn their video game time on the weekends by doing their best in school and in their cross-country training. We will see how that progresses as they find out that I really mean business.
We are repeating what we did last year of NO electronics until after 3:00 p.m. and they slipped right back into that routine and are finding new ways to entertain themselves once school is done for the day. They really complained about the video game on the weekend rule at first, but now are not even complaining about it. I have realized that kids are very adaptable to rules and they need to see just how serious you are about the rules they are to follow.
This year in school we are doing "character training." By this I mean a concentrated effort to every day have a discussion about manners and other attitudes that build good, strong, Godly characters. One book I am reading with Alec is Boyhood and Beyond by Bob Schultz. We have thoroughly enjoyed reading it together so far and are looking forward to finishing it and reading the next book by the same author, Created for Work. For Kirsten, we are reading Beautiful Girlhood, by Karen Andreola and we are enjoying that one also. I have a few more books for each of them directed at their appropriate age and gender that I hope to read with them next. Last year, we all just endured school and I got to "check" off each day as if I really accomplished something, but in reality, all we did was check off some "busy work." I hope to this year, in addition to our studies, to really focus on the really meaningful things in life -- becoming Godly men and women, helping others with a joyful spirit, and living life in such a way that will bring honor and glory to the holy name of our loving Father. We are also reading (all of us together) Everyday Graces, by Karen Santorum. This is a book that I have been wanting for several years but was waiting until it went down in price. This year, I decided that it was not going down ever and just to buy it anyway. We are really enjoying it also. She takes excerpts from classical literature, poetry, and other stories and adds a life lesson to the end of each one. The kids are learning a lot from this book and we are looking forward to many good lessons from it.
With my work schedule, two days per week, cross-country practice, two days per week, and life and exercising, for me, my life is VERY full. We spend much time away from the house and try our best to get our schooling done in a timely manner. I hope that both Kirsten and Alec will start to show good discipline in their schooling and their running and that we will just enjoy each other and enjoy life.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Spartan Running Camp 2010

I am finally back from running camp, which was very fun by the way, and going to try to journal our activities for the week. On Sunday, we left from church to meet up with Coaches Heather and Dorothy in New Albany to drive to Memphis to buy the groceries for the week. Our first stop was Sam's and that was an interesting excursion. The kids we had with us were very helpful and we had the groceries bought and loaded up in a short time. However, our vans were very packed. We drove to Meeman State Park in Millington, TN, and unloaded groceries and then Dorothy and I drove to Wal-Mart to buy the rest of the food we needed. By the time we got back, most of the male campers were there and moved into their cabins. The first order of business was to prepare a snack of brownie sundaes (they were good, too) and then to the first session of the camp. After the session, Mr. John spoke a little while for the boys' devotion before turning in to bed.
Monday started early (6:00 am) for a 30 minute run. Well, it was supposed to only be 30 minutes, but 5 boys (they were older) took a wrong turn and were gone around 45 minutes longer. We were thankful to have them return and they were glad to be back. Every run was followed with a recovery drink of milk and Nestle's Quik - fortified with vitamins and protein. Then shortly after that the boys did their cooldown stretches and then we served breakfast. Mrs. Kristie spoke for the first session about workouts and then the boys moved indoors to workout with Coach. We drove them to a playground later in the morning to play on the slides and to play frisbee. When we got back, we had a delicious lunch of sandwiches, vegetables, chips, and fruit. After lunch, we introduced the boys to a rousing game of 4 square. Most of them had never played before and they loved it. Around 2 we drove to the pool for a water workout, freeswim, and diving off the diving board. After a wonderful supper of spaghetti, salad, and french bread, the boys and dads played capture the flag. One team was the Wal-Mart bag team (they had bags tied around their arms to distinguish them from the other team). Then they played kickball and did some team building exercises which included the hula hoop pass, untangling arms, crab walking, wheelbarrow, and a relay race with coke bottles. After devotion it was time for bed. Most of the boys and all the dads decided to move the mattresses into the dining hall to sleep in the air conditioning.
Tuesday morning the boys were up early again for a 2 1/2 or 5 mile run, depending on their endurance level. Then it was time for breakfast and some free time. Around 10:30 we took the boys hiking to a creek to play in the water.
This picture was taken at the beginning of the hike. While at the creek, the boys saw a print that very much looked like a bear track (we were hoping it was a big beaver print) but you never know. After hiking back to camp, we ate lunch and then Mrs. Kristie did a hard strengthening workout with the boys. The afternoon was spent playing cards, watching a movie, or playing four square. After supper, the boys were excited to perform their lip-syncing skit. Each group of boys (there were four groups) picked a song to perform for the whole camp. These performances were very entertaining. After the contest was over it was time for devotion and then to bed.
Wednesday morning was another early morning run followed by breakfast and capture the flag and kickball. Some parents and the female campers arrived at camp between 11:00 and 12:00 and we served them joint lunch of hotdogs, chips, and fruit. After the parents and boys left, it was time for the girls' first session with Coach, Then they had a workout in the dining hall before driving to the pool (which was closed due to a power outage). We came back to camp and the girls ran a short run and then played kickball before supper. The girls then had a session with Coach and then devotion with Mrs. Pam and then to bed in the dining hall.
Thursday morning the girls got up early for a 2 1/2 of 5 mile run before breakfast. After breakfast, they had a strength training workout with Coach before hiking to the creek.
This picture was taken of the girls at the top of the hiking trail. After the hike, it was back for lunch and then to the pool for a water workout, freeswim, and diving fun. The girls also had a handstand "competition" with all of them doing a handstand at the same time. After supper, the girls played capture the flag with some girls having tape on their shirts and the others not. They took showers and then it was time for coke floats and then devotion and bed.
Friday morning was another early morning with a run before breakfast. Then a workout, lunch, and then back to the pool. After the pool, Coach Dorothy played water games with the girls, which were a whole lot of fun. After supper, we had a special speaker -- Coach Heather's former coach came to speak to the girls. Coach Campbell was very inspiring for the girls and he brought an old VHS tape of Coach Heather running in high school. After he left, the girls had a snack and then entertained us with their lip-syncing skits. These were so funny and the girls did a wonderful job. We finally settled down for the night and got a good night's rest.
Saturday morning, Kirsten, Claire, and I left early before the morning run and we were so glad to get home, but we are so glad we went.
I would post more pictures, but I haven't decided which of the 800+ pictures that I am going to post.