Thursday, October 27, 2011

Spartan Team Pictures 2011

Team Picture (Tupelo)Varsity and Junior Varsity
Team Picture (New Albany) -- not everyone can make it to both practices, so we took pictures at two different locations.

Tallahatchie Riverfest 5K -- September

The Tallahatchie 5K is a great favorite race for my children. The course is extremely hilly in sections, but the race is always a big one and lots of fun. Alec did not run his fastest race on this day, but he still finished with a good time.
Kirsten also enjoyed running on this day. She got to run the whole way with her friend Sophia.

Saltillo XC Meet -- September

In September, our XC team competed in the Saltillo XC meet. There were somewhere around 18 schools who participated in this meet, so there were lots of runners in all six races.
Kirsten nervous before the start of her race. Alec was pretty nervous too.
Ready to GO!
Junior Varsity Girls' Race
There they go!
Kirsten passed three runners coming into the chute.
Junior Varstiy Boys' Race
Look at them go!
Alec runs for the finish line.
Awaiting the awards.

Orange Beach Trip --- September

In September, we went to Orange Beach for a few days and had a wonderful time. The day we drove to the beach was extremely rainy and windy. A hurricane had moved through the area just days before, so the remnants were still hanging around and made traveling tough. We almost canceled our trip, but decided to go ahead and hope for the best.
When we arrived at the condo, the kids couldn't wait to get their suits on and head to the beach. We told them that the waves were too high to get in the water, but that they could get their feet wet. I told them NOT to get their clothes wet, yet I was the first one to get mine wet. I was trying to take pictures of them and didn't realize that a big wave was coming. They laughed at me when they saw how wet my pants were. This is a picture of how big the waves were that day. I can only imaging how big they were the few days before when the worst of the storm went through.
We took the kids to Lambert's to eat and they had the best time. They would have caught the "throwed rolls" all night if we would have let them. The food was really good and we had a great family meal together.
The next morning, we got up and got dressed to run on the beach. I had run on the beach before but this morning's run was really tough. We didn't run as much as we had planned on, but we did get a good workout in.
We also took beach pictures.
The last night we were at the beach, we all got dressed in matching clothes and took family pictures on the beach.
A kind lady, from the eighth floor, saw us swapping out people and camera, and she came all the way down from the eighth floor, to take a picture of all of us together. Thank you so much, KIND LADY! I am so glad that we have these pictures.
We had driven past this VW van several times and decided that since the kids liked it so well, that we would stop and take a picture with it.
They had such a good time playing in the water.
We all played poker in the condo and had a GREAT time.
Orange Beach, we miss you and hope to return soon!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Half Marathon Training

The kids and I are getting geared up to run a half marathon in December. This will be my sixth half marathon and the kids first half marathon. Kirsten begged to get to run the race with me, so we both signed up in July. Alec also begged to run, but I thought that he was too young to do it. However, several of his friends were planning to run it, so I relented and signed him up to run it also. We are running the St. Jude Half Marathon in Memphis on December 3. They are so excited and I know that they will enjoy the day. This race is very well organized and the spectators are awesome. They really are not enjoying the long training runs that we are having to put it to be prepared for this race. I knew that this would be a struggle for them, but we are all learning alot about patience. Alec doesn't enjoy running as much as Kirsten does, but he is a much stronger runner than she is. They both have been faster than me for a long time and I fully expected them both to beat me to the finish line. However, I have recently lost 30 pounds and have really been pushing myself and have gotten quite a bit faster, so I may beat one or both of them on race day. The race is seven weeks from today so we still have a lot of miles to get in before we are ready. Kirsten has at least two friends that she hopes to run with that day, and Alec has one or two that he hopes to be able to run with. I hope that they will be fast enough on race day, because I know from experience that running a long race with people you know is a much more enjoyable experience than running it by yourself. I am trying to prepare them as much as possible for the endurance they will need to accomplish this goal. I have focused on the fun aspects of the race instead of the difficult ones. We will be discussing all parts of the half marathon many times over the next seven weeks. This has been a mostly enjoyable experience for all of us, spending significant portions of time running together towards a common goal. I also hope they learn many life lessons as we press towards this mark.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Playing Catch Up

We have been extremely busy all summer long. I have been meaning to catch my blog up to date and just haven't taken the time to do so. A friend of mine reminded me recently of my shortcomings in this area, so here goes...
In July we drove almost 2 hours with a big group of people to go to this small coummunity water park/pool. It is very affordable, and not very crowded -- two essential things for me. We ate a picnic lunch together and then went inside the park to enjoy some water fun.
Kirsten went down this slide last year, one time, and declared it off limits, This year she went down it multiple times and declared it AWESOME! So glad that she overcame her fear and tried it again. Alec went down this slide so many times that even he lost count. He is my little daredevil.
He also enjoyed this smaller, slower, curvy slide. I also enjoy the curvy slide better, although I went down the other one as well.
At the end of July, I had a hysterectomy that sidelined me for a few weeks, although I was back up and going well before most people thought that I should be. While I was in the hospital, Mitch drove home so that the kids could participate in the BMC Fun Run at Blue Mountain College. The kids had been looking forward to the run for a long time. It was a combination 5K/obstacle course/mud pit. All the participants declared it a success and my mother and sister took lots of pictures of the event.
Getting ready to start the race.
Alec getting down and dirty in the mud pit -- this was his favorite, even though he didn't feel 100% on this day.
Kirsten enjoyed the mud pit also. It is refreshing to them, when they are "allowed" to get dirty. I have spent so much of my mothering time, telling them to NOT PLAY in the mud.
Kirsten is proud of her muddy self.
Nearing the end of August, our Cross Country team, the Spartans, got back up and running in full training mode. Our first XC meet was a practice meet at TCPS, in Tupelo. Kirsten was sidelined with an injury to her knee, but Alec was so excited for his first participation in an actual meet.
Ready to go!!!
Our Spartan tents and families.
The Junior Varsity boys getting ready for the start of the race. Our teams ran very well for their first race.
Some Sunday afternoons in the fall, we try to get together with several other families from church in order to play paintball. Our church has a morning service, a lunch together, and an afternoon service every week, so this leaves the afternoon and evenings free for family time. Several families have boys that love paintball, as well as DADS that enjoy it too. The Moms have fun visiting together and everyone enjoys the snacks.
Mitch, Kirsten, and Alec are ready to play some PAINTBALL!
The boys were nice enough to let the girls play in some of the rounds.
Alec has fallen "in love" with this sport.
One thing that we always enjoy doing is taking a picnic lunch to Tippah Lake for the afternoon. We lots of times will go on Wednesday afternoons, and the lake is pretty deserted and we feel like we have it all to ourselves. We take scooters, roller blades, and rip sticks and the kids enjoy riding them all over the park.
Alec found this little praying mantis and we all enjoyed looking at him.
Kirsten, Claire, and Sophia enjoy some girl time. Scarlett couldn't be here for this picture; she was in Memphis getting yet another cast put on a broken bone. We missed you, Scarlett!
Kirsten took the camera around and was taking several pictures. I think I have a budding photographer on my hands.
Alec didn't want to be left out and he took several pictures, including this one of Kirsten.
Here is the whole group together.
That about catches me up to the first of September. I will try to finish catching up my blog throughout this week. I have had to work some extra hours at work, school is in full swing, we exercise almost every day, and we have cross country two days a week, plus races on many weekends. I cannot use busyness as an excuse anymore, because I have the same 24 hours in the day as everyone else. My priority has not been my blog and I am committing to do better right now.