Saturday, March 31, 2012

See Betsy Run

Today I ran my first Half-Marathon and I have lived to tell the tale.

I will now proceed to tell the tale.

It began last night.  Actually, it began several months ago with Operation: Get in Shape Girl.  But for the purposes of this story, it began last night.  I was nervous and did not have much of an appetite, but of course one must eat the night before a big race.  My carb of choice was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on homemade whole wheat bread.  Mmmm-- and so comforting too.  Then a dear friend brought me her delicious brownies.  I don't care if she does make them from a mix-- they are my most favorite brownies ever.

Then I went to bed at a very reasonable hour hoping for a peaceful, restful night's sleep.  It was not to be.  Even though my running mentor (Hi, Aimee) sent me a very encouraging text before bed telling me not to worry, I was worried.  She said, "You have done your training, trust your body."--I was worried.  Besides my anxiety, the evening was interrupted by Cannon's and George's poor sleep, the smoke alarm beeping and now for WAY TMI (sorry)-- I received a visit from Aunt Flo.  Can you believe what crummy timing?  I shed a few tears in the night and struggled to get back to sleep.

But morning did come and my body felt pretty okay.  Not great, but pretty okay.
The children's parting words this morning: "Don't die, Mom!"  I think there was some actual concern that a half-marathon might kill me.
Abe took me over to see me off and then he returned with the kids in plenty of time for my triumphant return.  Assuming I did return.
Ooh, action-packed!  We were there early enough for a little photo shoot.  This was momentous for me-- it must be documented.
I was very happy to be number 414.  How did they know I like the number 4?  I've always liked the number 4.

I haven't normally run with sun glasses, but their was lots of strong wind in the forecast, so I was prepared.  I liked them, so I think I'll wear them from now on.
It was fun to start the race with a couple of friends from the neighborhood.  Notice I said "start" with them.  I never actually ran with them and was no where near finishing with them.
Abe felt we needed a picture with my running belt.  You know how much I love pictures that show off my ample tushy:)
And we're off!  

Well, I'm not off quite yet.  I am very near the back of the pack since it would not be good for my race psyche to begin by getting passed by 400 people.
 Okay, now we're off.  See how happy we all are?  We didn't stay that happy for the whole 13.1 miles.
The wind was rather oppressive at times and I had to make 2 potty stops.  My tummy wasn't feeling great for much of the race-- you ladies can understand why that is.  But, my legs and feet felt great and I felt that my training had prepared me well for the race.  Once I got to mile 9 I knew I was good to go.
And I did it!  With the exception of my potty breaks and one ugly hill, I ran the entire way.  The last mile I was motivated by the hopes of seeing all my people at the finish line cheering for me.  As I neared the finish line I took out my ear phones and could hear Abe cheering well before I could see him.  That made me so happy.
The girls ran in with me, but I was not going to let them beat me!  Sorry, tootsies, it was my moment of glory. 
Yep.  2 hour and 45 minute glory.  I wasn't exactly Speedy Gonzales, but I was pleased.  2 1/2 hours would have been great.  3 hours would have been disappointing.  2 hours and 45 minutes was "just right."

It was a good day and when the race was all over I got to go home to my family and lay around listening to the Good Word from General Conference.  

Hmm.  Now what shall I do next?  Did someone say "MARATHON"?  

I'm not ready to think about that yet. 

At least not today:)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Complaint Log

We've had a problem at our house lately.


Everyone is complaining, maybe with the exception of Abe.  He's not a big complainer and I am very glad because we're all full up on complaints right now.  Here are a few examples:

Example 1
"Mom, what are you making for dinner?"
"Shepherd's Pie"
"Oh, I guess I won't be eating dinner."


Example 2
"Girl-Child, go clean your room and put your clothes away."
"Do the other girl-children have to come help me?"


Example 3
"Mom will you take me to the store to buy some more Friends Legos with my money?"
"Sure, I'd be happy too."
"Can we go right now?"
"No, I'm sorry, today is not going to work, but I think I can on Wednesday."
"Ahhh, I don't want to wait until tomorrow."


So, as you can see we are suffering with a deplorable lack of gratitude and an over abundance of complaining.  I have felt like I am a mere receptacle for complaints. 

Children, feel free to find me and tell me about anything that is making you uncomfortable in the least.  Please, if there is anything, anything, I can do to ease your discomfort with life, don't hesitate to weigh me down with it.  Are you a little bit bored?  Do you need something sweet to eat?  Do you not want to do your practicing?  You don't want to clear off the kitchen table? 
Oh, you poor dear!  Do not put yourself out at all!  I can't bear for my little darlings to do anything they don't want to do. 


Well, anyway.  Today I started the complaint log.  If you have a complaint you must write it in the complaint log.  I just can't bear the responsibility of carrying your complaints any longer.  The log will have to hold your concerns.  Your complaints will all be addressed in Family Home Evening on Monday night. 

I would like to share a few entries from today's Complaint Log.

"I wish I were older"

"I wish I could get another Lego set."

"My whole adventure file I had been working on all day was deleted."

"I'm really bored."

"Why do I have so much school to do?"

"I have too many things to do in not enough time..."

"I don't like this piano song."
-Taylor (a piano student)

My load has been lightened.  Thank you, Complaint Log.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Rest of the Story

I've just finished a post about Faith turning six and I wrote about several highlights of the last week.  But you know that's not all there is to it!
Let me share a bit of the other side of the last week.  Just a few things I need to share.  You, dear reader, deserve to know the truth.

I developed a nervous twitch in my left eye from the stress of teaching Elinor long division.  She's bright-- very bright.  That's not the problem.  The problem is she doesn't want to do it.  Go figure.  Does anyone want to do long division?  Who cares if you want to do it or not!  I know-- I'm so understanding.

But as it turns out, the silent stubborn types have some very effective tactics to get out of doing what they don't want to do and none of them involve yelling or screaming.  GRRRAAAAGH!!!!!!  Let me just assure you that I am not proud of my behavior toward my 3rd born this week and am determined to control myself next week.

I am still reading Middlemarch, and I have enjoyed it, but it is long and I'm feeling frustrated that I haven't gotten it done yet.  Months- for months I've been working my way through it.  I have read a few other things in between, but I want to get this one finished up.  It's weighing on me.

Last Saturday I ran eleven miles and it was AWFUL.  Horrible.  Painful.  Why-the-heck-am-I-doing-this-BAD.  I-can-hardly-walk, take-3-Advil-debilitating.  I was quite discouraged and truly wondered if I would be able to do the half-marathon on the 31st.  Would I literally crawl across the finish line?
The week before I had done 10 and it felt great.  I don't know what went wrong, but from mile 7 on I pretty much wanted to cry.  You can seen why I wasn't so excited for my run this morning.  Fortunately, my run felt fantastic this morning, so I am not in such terror for next Saturday.

Question for you.
Which do you prefer?  Once a week, 2 hour MASSIVE laundry folding party, or daily folding and putting away of smaller loads.  I tend to do the massive parties (don't you think party makes it sound more fun?).  Let me assure you, it is not fun.  Call it what you want-- there is nothing fun about it.  The pack n' play overflows with clothes, the children dive and fish for pants, shirts, socks and underwear. 
I must work out a better system of laundry folding.  I do keep up on the washing the clothes, so at least they aren't stinky.  That counts for something, right?  They're dumpster diving for clean clothes instead of dirty ones.   That will have to be good enough for now.

Allergy season is upon us.  Itchy eyes, itchy throat, itchy lips.  No fun for me.  But since I'm not pregnant and not nursing now is my chance to try some allergy relief medicine and see if that helps.  Do you have a favorite medicine for allergies?

That's it for this evening.  There was lots of good stuff (see the following post), and now you know the rest of the story.

Faith's 6th Birthday

They tell me that Faith has turned six.
I'm not so sure I believe that.  How is this possible?  I mean, I know how the aging process occurs, but I thought Faith was immune to it.  She has stayed the same for so long.  But it's happening.
This year was her "off" year for having a big friends party, but she was surprised to have one of her bestest gal pals over to play.
And her big sister, Bethany, did create a very pretty hairstyle for her.  Bethany did not succeed, however, in taking a very good picture of the pretty hairstyle.  The top was lovely as well.
And she got a big set of the new Friends Legos, which are all the rage amongst the girls at our house right now.  I am in love with these Legos.  They are so so so cute.  I've always appreciated Legos for the boys, but they never tempted me to play with them.  I want to play with these.
And on her birthday she got to go to her very first softball practice with big sister, Elinor.  They are both playing on an 8 and under team.  Elinor just barely made the cut off and I basically begged for them to let Faith on the same team.   It is an 8 and under team-- they didn't have a hard and fast rule about how much "under" they can be.  I figure, Elinor is the tallest and will be one of the best and Faith is the littlest and not so skilled; between the two of them they will equate to 2 average girls.  I'm not worried for her getting hurt because it's pretty safe in the outfield.  Elinor was the same age when she started.

By the way, I LOVE softball season.  After the winter it feels SO GOOD to get outside!! The girls and I have been practicing a lot in the backyard and I think Elinor has a better arm than I do!
And this past week she finally "got" her front walk over!!!!!!  There was much cheering and celebration!  Elinor was our action-packed photographer.  Here is more of her work:
The hand-stand.
The back-walkover.
We REALLY like the gymnastics school Faith goes to and we are super happy with the progress she is making.

For a family party for Faith earlier in the week we went to the Classic Fun Center for roller skating and bounce house.  The kids had a great time, but I think I had more fun.  I was cruising around the rink with Georgie in the stroller and I even climbed to the top of Bounce Everest!  Well, the first time I was almost at the top and then I was humiliated to fall 2500 feet to my near death.  Not really 2500 ft, but it was embarrassing and a little frightening.  However, just before we left the kids convinced me to try again and I made it!

What is a half-marathon next Saturday compared to conquering Bounce Everest?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bethany's Eleventh Birthday

Bethany turned eleven this past week and she decided to host her first murder mystery for her birthday party.
The story was set in England in 1807.  I was Lady Mazzing and I was looking for a suitable match for my dear son, Lord Mazzing (Clark).  The girls did a fabulous job and it was great fun.
In the course of the evening my charming and handsome son was murdered.  As you can see, I was heartbroken.
In the end, the birthday girl was the guilty party.
Her motive?
Lord Mazzing questioned and mocked her sense of fashion.  He said she looked like a stuffed turkey.  So she had to take care of him.
Elinor was the only young lady who correctly guessed the murderer.
Faith was so happy to get to be with the big girls.  And after patiently waiting through Elinor's and now Bethany's birthday, she is anxious for her big day next week.
Abe was Carson, the butler and the ladies kept him hopping all evening.  Several of the girls put on pretty impressive English accents.  If only we'd had our English Aunt Naomi with us!

I like what Elinor told Bethany the other day about their very different birthday parties.  "Your party is perfect for you and mine was perfect for me!".

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hippity- Hop

Let's begin this evening's sharing time with 2 very important announcements.

1.  I ran 10 miles this morning!  It took me 2 hours and 5 minutes and it wasn't horrible.  Dare I say I quite enjoyed myself?  Yes, I did enjoy it.  21 days until my half-marathon and I figure if I can do 10 and have it not be horrible, then 13.1 shouldn't exceed quite unpleasant.  Hopefully.
2.  I have now reached my first weight-loss goal and have lost 40 lbs.  I'm pretty sure the running 10 miles thing has contributed to this:)

Come on, now, everyone together,
For she's a jolly good fellow, for she's a jolly good fellow, for she's a jolly good feeeellllooooowwwwww---- which nobody can deny!

Oh, you all are too kind.

I am missing out on my more frequent blogging, but life is just keeping us hopping.  And when we're done hopping we want to sleep because we're so tired of hopping. Not so much time left for blogging.
Here are a few of our latest hopping abouts.
Little Fay-Fay learned how to ride her 2-wheeler on Thursday thanks to her big sister, Bethany.  Abe has worked with her a lot this weekend and she is cruising around the block now.  A friend/ neighbor who had been observing Abe working with Faith called me to say how sweet Abe was with her and how she wished Abe had been her dad!  He is wonderfully encouraging and patient and the best cheerleader when kids are learning to ride bikes or learning how to swim.
Oh, yes, he's a keeper!
Tonight Elinor was the host and cook for Lady Bug Dinner Club.  I listened in for a bit to their dinner table conversation and it was A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E.  I loved when they went around the table playing Peach-and-Pit.  That's where you share the best thing that happened to you that week (the peach) and the worst thing (the pit). 

Here's my peach-and-pit for the week.
Peach:  I ran 10 miles and lost 40 lbs.
Pit:  George is drawn to the toilet bowl like a moth to the flame, or should I say, like a fish to major bacteria laden water.  WHY WILL NO ONE IN THIS HOUSE CLOSE THE FREAKING BATHROOM DOORS??????????

Holy Moly!-- little boys have a lot of energy!  But they are the cutest little things and they are both fiercely jealous of their snuggle time with mommy.  If one is getting some loves, the other quickly arrives on the scene to fight for what is theirs.  I feel so loved-- so many males vying for my attention.
Now that is a good looking bread stick.  But that's not what I want to discuss.
Cannon enjoys superhero cartoons, but he can only have it in small doses because he really does behave quite naughty if he watches too much.  He gets very aggressive.  Once again, not what I want to discuss.
I want to share a conversation with Cannon from this past week.  He regularly keeps us in stitches during dinner with the funny things he says.

Abe:  Cannon,you can have the Star Wars poster in this cereal box.
Cannon:  YES!  I knew their was a poster in that cereal!
Abe:  Really?  How did you know that?
Cannon:  My spidey-sense told me.
Betsy:  Where did you get your spidey-sense?
Cannon:  Heavenly Father gave it to me.
Betsy:  Did Heavenly Father give everyone spidey-sense?
Cannon:  No, only the boys.
Betsy:  Oh, what did he give to the girls?
Cannon:  Green Lantern Power.

I want to trade.  Spidey-sense is way better than Green Lantern power.  Everyone knows that.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

There is Time Enough

I'll start this post with this picture of Elinor because I love her and she looks just lovely.  I'll refer you back to this picture later in the post.  

My dad is retired and spends much of his time and energy in local and state politics--especially when the legislature is in session.  But, by his own admission, some days he has more leisure time than he knows what to do with.  I know it wasn't always like this for him.  He was a career Army officer for 20 years, a bishop in an LDS ward three different times, and father to four children.  He had his very busy days.  I do not begrudge him his retirement at all, and we occasionally reap the benefits of his flexible schedule.


It's hard for me to even imagine what that might be like.  Time-- time to do whatever you feel like doing when you wake up.  Time that isn't allocated for the entire day before you even get out of bed.
I am simply observing-- I am not complaining.  I am busier than I have ever been, but happier as well.  If you'd have told me a few years back how busy and full my days would be with six children I would not have believed you.  I would much rather have too many good things to fit into a day than a lack of meaningful activity. 

As it is we go, go, go all day long--school work, meal prep, diapers, baths, hair, scriptures, callings,  dance, tae kwon do, piano, violin, swimming, gymnastics, reading, laundry, Shakespeare class, book club, exercise, and on and on and on.  Sometimes I don't like reading long lists like I just wrote because it makes me feel kind of dizzy.  It makes me worry that perhaps we won't have time for family life's simple, creative, spontaneous moments.

But then I take a look at the latest pictures on the camera.
No need to worry-- there is still plenty of time for creativity.
Clark prepared an "Iron Man" costume for Cannon out of a Frosted Mini Wheats box and a plastic container.
Why do we even have any regular toys?
Remember that lovely picture of my sweet Elinor at the first of this post?  Now would be a good time to picture it in your mind.
The girls were making themselves really cute Chinese hairstyles with paper umbrellas for accessories. 

They went terribly wrong.
Elinor turned herself into a fire princess and she painted her face to match.
Faith got into the action as well.  This wasn't face paint-- it was just the good old craft paint.
These were the same two who covered their bodies with scars and battle wounds in red acrylic paint while I was off running an errand. 
Here is a little more productive use of time.  Bethany made THE MOST DIVINE bread sticks a few days back.  Oh, YUM!  Oh, BAD for Operation: Get in Shape Girl.

Here's a funny little thing.  For the last two weeks Cannon has broken out in hives as soon as we get to church.  A bit of Benadryl takes care of it, but it begs the question--- is Cannon allergic to church?
Abe got these pillow cases for the girls for their birthdays.  He feels uncommonly strongly that pillows MUST have covers on them at all times.  These were his solution and I agree that they are really cute and the girls love them.  It's fun to get a present just from their daddy.
George is trying to say more and more and he is a source of constant entertainment to the children and their friends when they tell him, "George, don't pick your nose!"  This of course gets him to do that very thing. 
A parting image for the evening.
She is my daughter.