Current Exercise and Weight Loss Goals

Monday, December 29, 2008

A New Member of the Family

This is our new kid---Cody!
He is a real doll. Shane and I met him a week before Christmas and had him delivered Christmas morning. The kids were thrilled. Tanner kept walking around saying he was dreaming! Cody is 11 months old and house-trained (a major plus). I swore we wouldn't get another dog until all the kids were out of diapers, but Cody was too good to pass up.
Supposedly, he is part Austrialian shepherd and blue heeler, but we think he has setter and pointer in him because of his markings. He belonged to Jessica's friend Aaron at school, but Aaron's family is pretty grown up and they were gone all day at work and school leaving Cody in a crate a lot of the time. So, they decided to look for a home where Cody would have lots of kids to play with. They found the right place.

The first few days were pretty rough, especially Christmas night. Cody paced through the house, not knowing where he was supposed to be. Eventually, he laid down and relaxed a bit, but he was up 3 times in the night. Jessica has decided that he must sleep in her room and that has been great. She lets him out in the night if he needs it and first thing in the morning she takes him to the backyard for a long game of fetch! He has tons of energy and loves to run after anything you throw for him. He's still got a bit of puppy in him and chewed up a "Pokeball" that Hunter got for Christmas. (Hunter is still not over it and wouldn't you know Meijer is out of them so I haven't been able to replace it!) Cody buries his rawhide bones and tonight during scripture time he came running into the living room with the bone he recovered from under a tree in the backyard. It was a bit dirty. I had a hard time concentrating on the scriptures between Jared kicking a soccer ball (and then cheering for himself) and watching Cody toss his bone in the air and try to catch it!

So, the chaos of our home has moved up another notch.....oh and did I mention Santa brought Tanner a set of drums!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Dear Santa

The gift you left on the front seat of our van was over the top! Thank you and God Bless!
Maura, Shane and the kids

Friday, December 12, 2008


I've been slacking on blogging. Here is Jessica and Michael before the Homecoming Dance.
and here are my 3 girls. Jessica, Savannah, and Mikayla.
I sure love them!

My Star Quilt

This picture is for you Grandma Martin!!! I finally learned how to put pictures on my blog using this computer. I'm hand-quilting this using a large wooden hoop, so you can still see I have large safety pins all over it. I've finished a lot of the stars and a lot of the yellow blocks. I haven't decided how I want to quilt the stripped border. The white edge is temporary to protect the edge until I'm ready to bind it. I'll probably bind it in bright yellow, maybe dark blue.

When my mom and dad were here to visit in October, I showed the quilt to my dad and he asked me what I was going to do with it when I was done. I told him I was "giving it to myself". hee hee. I just love the colors and it makes me happy everytime I work on it.

Morning Surprise

I was working on a Christmas present in the dining room and decided I needed more light. I threw open the curtains and saw this beautiful buck behind the back fence. He was just looking over the fence next to the old tree house!!! I went out the back door and took his picture. That startled him and he ran away.

Later, Jared pointed at the window and yelled "DEER!" No. There wasn't another deer. Just great imagination. It was a fun way to start the day.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Chorus Concert

Hunter, Savannah (looking strangely dazed!), Tanner, and Mikayla on the stage after the performance!

Tanner is in the second row, 4th kid from the left. I know....we couldn't pick him out either! :)

Tonight we went to the elementary school for Tanner's 4th Grade Chorus Concert. It was really nice. They sang 4 Christmas songs and a Hannukah song. My favorite was "Christmas is Coming and WE are Getting Fat"!!! It was a funny commentary on the overeating some of us do during the holidays. I loved the line about waddling up the stairs after Thanksgiving dinner!

Yay! Yay! Yay! Kim's got a blog!

I'm so psyched! One of my favorite friends has joined the blogging world. Some of you know her as Kim Whiting. Here is a link to her brand new blog!!!!

go say hi!

Friday, November 14, 2008

I Was Tagged!

Adrienne tagged me a few weeks ago, so I'm fianlly getting around to my assignment. Heather tagged me too, but I didn't realize it.... sorry Heather! Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell 6 unspectacular quirks about yourself.
4. Tag 6 unsuspecting fellow bloggers by linking to them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger's blogs letting them know they have been tagged.

My Quirks

1. I dream of running, quite literally. Several years ago, I started trying to run. I couldn't even run a 10th of a mile at a time. But, after weeks and months of effort, I ran my first mile and then my first 3 miles. I also read everything I could get my hands on about running for exercise, running for weightloss, running marathons, etc. About that time, I began to dream I was running. In my dreams, I can run with very little effort. I'm strong, much thinner, my breathing is steady and my stride is smooth. My favorite running dream (okay, it's about the only one I can remember) is of running down a gravel road in the San Luis Valley in Colorado. There are fields of sunflowers on my left and on my right. That road really exists! When we went to visit our family in Colorado back in 2004, the sunflowers were in bloom and I can still see those fields just as vividly as if I were there this morning. So, one day, I hope to run in the San Luis Valley. (However, the altitude is outrageously high there, so I don't know if I could get my lungs to cooperate during a short visit. My aunt even told me Olympic runners train there!)

2. I have a VERY strong desire to learn to speak Spanish. This may be because of my adoration of Mexican food and I just want to order EVERYTHING on the menu at my favorite Mexican restaurant, Acapulco, but I think there may be more to it. Ever since I was a little girl, I heard my dad speaking Spanish to utter strangers. I guess that has always seemed kind of magical, super-hero-ish to me. When my parents came to visit last month, I got to introduce Dad to Jessica Martin who is from Chile. Off they went, talking a mile a minute. I was standing right there and only understood 2 phrases, but I LOVED it! My brother, Theo, served his mission in Chile and married my awesome sister-in-law who is originally from the Dominican Republic. So, now Theo knows "the secret" and speaks Spanish too. I've paid attention when he and Kirudys are talking to their kids, but I've only learned one word, "mira". I don't know if that is how you spell it. But, Theo told me it means "look". When my family was at the zoo last summer, we were behind a group of Hispanic people in line to ride the train and one woman said, "Mira!" I looked and on the ground was a 20$ bill. It was cool that I understood her! Unfortunately, I was too slow and they picked up their dropped money before I could make a dive for it!!!! I hope when the kids are a bit older I can learn Spanish, for now, I just pay attention to the waiters at Acapulco!!!!

3. I really like the large African mammals. When I go to the zoo, I love to watch the giraffes, elephants, zebras, and hippos! I'm not a real big fan of the lions and cheetahs. But, the others I could watch for hours. They are amazing to me. I love to read about them. I like to learn the different breeds, etc. I don't know why, but they are SO COOL!

4. I love to read cookbooks. I like to look at the pictures and read the recipes and try to figure out if they would taste good. I also like to buy cookbooks. A few years ago, Shane told me I couldn't buy anymore cookbooks until I had made a recipe from each cookbook I owned. (I don't take him that seriously...hee hee.) I don't have the time to do as much experimenting and cooking as I would like, but now and then I make some new dishes and love it. Along with that, I love kitchen tools, hand towels, kitchen catalogs, kitchen stores, spice racks, cookware, etc. Thank goodness my budget is small or my small kitchen would be stuffed to the brim with things I don't really need!

5. I like maps. When we travel, I always like to have the road atlas. Even though Shane could probably drive to his parents' mobile home in the mountains of Pennsylvania with his eyes closed, I am not satisfied. I must have a road map. It's not even that I don't believe he can get us there. It's just that I like to know where I am and I love to know the names of the rivers and lakes we pass. I like to read the names of the small towns and look for historical sites. And maps aren't just for travel time. Maps are just way cool anytime.

6. My last and final quirk is that I have a VERY long life list. I have so many things I want to do and learn in my life. I'm still planning on learning more piano. I want to learn to cook Chinese food, write calligraphy, pet a dolphin, cruise to Alaska, see Washington DC, learn to juggle, waste hours and hours doing jigsaw puzzles, figure out how to replicate my Grandma Schofield's banana bread, visit Cozemel, Mexico, learn to make my Grandma Martin's potato cakes (she's helping me on that one), join a gym, run a half-marathon (or maybe a full marathon), finish my degree from BYU, have a real vegetable garden, etc. Life may just be a bit too short. But, I figure I'm on the Camilla Kimball plan. She is one of my heroes. She kept learning her whole life long and I plan on doing the same.

I tag:

1. My cousin Constance-
2. My sister Jocelyn-
3. My friend Sylvia-
4. My extra brother Eric-
5. My friend Julie-
6. My friend Cassie-

Unfortunately, I am not very blogger savvy and can't figure out how to "name" these links and make it look nicer. Oh well. Consider yourselves TAGGED!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Walk at the Park

Tonight for part of our Family Home Evening we loaded up the kids, bikes, and the wagon and headed for Winton Woods. It was the first time in years that we have gone down to walk around the lake together. We had a wonderful time. We brought the wagon for Jared, but at around the third of a mile marker he was already out and ready to run. He stayed close to me the whole way around the lake and kept calling out, "Run Mom!" and then we would run together.

He ran a mile.

No wonder I can't get him to sit still first thing Sunday morning for sacrament meeting. The boy has TONS of energy!

It was exciting to me to run with him and not become the least bit winded. I felt like I was on The Biggest Loser tv show where at the end they show how much healthier the person is and the person says, "I always wanted to be able to keep up with my kids." I still have a long way to go to reach my weight loss goals, but I remember the first time we went to walk around the lake, I asked Shane to drop me off at the half mile mark so I could walk back to the beginning. At that time, I couldn't even WALK a mile. That was 3 kids ago. Now, I've run two 10K races and five 5K races. It is exciting to me that for now, growing older means I'm also growing stronger.

Savannah on the other hand chose to ride in the wagon pretty much the whole way......

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Black Squirrel 5K

On Saturday the 27th of September our Pink Princess Racing Team went to Glendale to run the Black Squirrel 5K. It was a blast!

Here is our team photo. Left to right: Sylvia, Courtney (Sylvia's niece), Me (Maura), and Mikayla.
This was the first time any of us have done to the Black Squirrel. It was MUCH harder than Sylvia or I were expecting. When we picked up our race packets the night before the race, we were told that the first part of the race was the hardest and that it got easier after that. WOW! Talk about an understatement!!! After only a few tenths of a mile the race went up a horrible hill. I will forever call it "heartbreak hill". It was a real struggle for me to keep my feet running all the way up. I felt like my feet weighed an extra 10 pounds a piece. Due to the hurricane earlier this month, there was a lot of debris still on the road: lots of twigs, leaves, etc. When I finally saw the one mile mark, I had already decided that they had neglected to put mile markers on the race!!! ONE MILE????? Are you KIDDING ME? I swear I thought I had already gone at least a mile and a half. What a disappointment! :)

My sport watch's battery died over a year ago and since I wasn't running much, I haven't replaced it yet. So, in place of a watch, I took my trusty cell phone with me so I could look down at the time and see what my pace was. Unfortunately, the print on my cell phone screen is kind of small and with how much my hand was bouncing I couldn't read the numbers at ALL!

I had been sick for several days with a sore throat and wasn't sure I would be able to run the whole race. I'm happy to say that not only was I able to run, but my finish time was surprisingly good! I finished in 31:44 minutes. (I had been hoping to finish in 36 minutes or less!) My legs felt like JELLO for 5 minutes afterwards, but it was so exciting to see Eric, Margret, and her kids, and Mikayla waiting for me at the finish line!

Here's Mikayla crossing the line! She did GREAT! I keep complaining about how hard the Black Squirrel course was. Mikayla says she liked it! What an awesome runner she is!

Okay, here's me. I'm huffing and puffing, but notice the girl behind me in the cute blue "running skirt". I had passed her about halfway through the race and as we were coming down the last couple tenths of a mile she passed me!!! This could not be! I poured it on the last hundred yards and beat her! Who says I'm competetive???
Courtney did wonderful! She too said the course wasn't that bad! I loved getting to know her better. She is a real sweetheart and I can't wait to run more races with her! Her finish time was super!
Last, but NOT LEAST! Here is my amazing friend Sylvia. She had a rough week too and the course was STRENUOUS! But, I am so proud of her. She did not give up! Sylvia finished really strong even though she wasn't feeling very good. Courtney, Mikayla, and I walked back along the course to find her and walk in with her. It was such a good feeling when she crossed the finish line and we got to cheer for her. She is an amazing woman!
Now this is my favorite picture of them all. Here is our team family. I and Mikayla are in back. Then we have Justin, Jessica with Heston, Sylvia, Margret, Courtney, and Eric. What a blast it was to have Margret and her kids with us at the race! The four of us runners came home with really cool participation medals and all of us came home with wonderful memories of a fun morning.
I can't wait for next year!
(okay, i could do without the hills! Sylvia is making me go back to train so we'll be ready for next year..... yuck!!!)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

This week

So, I had to cancel a cleaning job this morning because I have a very sore throat. (Don't worry Dad, I'm doing my salt water gargle!)
I'm totally wiped out and sick of work. But, oh well. What are you going to do about it?
Actually, I work for really nice people, I'm just tired.

I thought I would write a bit about my week.
Jessica is going to Homecoming this week and Adrianne is going to do her hair. Adrianne came over Monday night to have a practice run at the hairdo. Shane worked that night until 11 pm.

Mikayla is doing awesome at Cross Country and finished 13th out of approximately 60 girls at a meet last week. I'm so proud of her.

Tanner is sporting a new haircut today. I absolutely HATE cutting my boys' hair, but I'm free and affordable. He is hoping to do 4th Grade Chorus.

I checked over Hunter's spelling homework this week. This is the sentence he had for the spelling word "thinning": My dad's hair is thinning.

Savannah was disappointed today when I wouldn't let her wear a paper birthday crown to school. She ran to her room crying. That is her normal reaction to bad news.

Jared may be getting pink eye. Or he just has the same cold I have.

On Monday, I took Hunter and Savannah to the doctor for check ups. Savannah needed to get 4 booster shots. I got her to lay down on the table, but when the nurse approached her, Savannah did a backwards somersault to the other end of the table and hopped down. (It's funny now!) I had to hold her down while the nurse held her legs, with her kicking and screaming. I wish I could take a valium before doctor appointments. They are no fun!!! Why is it the kids get the m&ms and stickers? I'm the one that needs them.

I really can't blame Savannah. A month ago she cut her foot and got 12 stitches. It was a really bad experience. Removing them took over an hour and she still has one buried in her heel that wouldn't come out. So, she was not about to willing let a nurse get their hands on her again!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Jessica's Junior Prom

Hi. I never got around to posting any pictures of prom. Here is Jessica and Michael before the dance. I think that on that day, Jessica was almost as pretty as Michael.

60 miles goal

I just want to brag on myself that I finished my 60 miles in August goal!!! It was not easy and I finished (barely) with 5 miles on the treadmill at 11:30 pm on the 31st!!! Nothing like leaving it for the last minute!!!

For September I am aiming for 70 miles just to make it interesting. Sylvia, Mikayla, and I are working toward a 5K on Sept 27th. I've got to get a bit more serious if I'm to have any hope of actually running this thing!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday Morning Miracle

This is the right rear tire off our big 12-passenger van. We were on our way to Stake Conference this morning when this tire blew. And it is SHREDDED! We were in the high speed lane and all of a sudden there was a weird thumping sound. Shane and I both thought a motorcycle was coming up on our right side. But, then Shane said it was us and he started making his way quickly over to the right shoulder of the freeway. Unfortunately, their was a guard rail as far as the eye could see. So, we had to park just outside the line of the right hand lane.

When I first met Shane and we were dating he was the king of changing tires. And he still is. In those days he would actually have me "time" him. He could change one in less than 5 minutes. We were blessed today to have Michael, Jessica's boyfriend, riding with us. He and Shane worked quickly and had the whole process done in 29 minutes. (This was Shane's first time changing a tire on this van, so he was unfamiliar with the equipment. The part that took the longest was getting the spare to drop down from it's spot under the back of the van onto the asphalt. I know next time he'll shave off quite a bit of time!!!)

After about 20 minutes of sweating in the hot sun, and having the van rocked back and forth by the passing tractor-trailers, Mike and Theresa Jungkunz drove by, pulled over, and backed up dozens of yards on the shoulder to see if they could help. They sure did! We sent Savannah and Mikayla on to the meeting. Savannah was terrified by the passing traffic.

Shane and Michael were able to keep their church clothes pretty clean. I was in charge of passing out the baby wipes to try to get the grease off their hands. Just as we got all packed up and got ready to pull back on to the freeway a Sherriff pulled up. But, it was too late, we were all done and she didn't even turn on her flashing lights!!!! What a rip-off!

I'm so grateful to Heavenly Father for keeping us all safe. Gratitude goes to Him for not having ME behind the wheel when the tire blew! I'm also grateful that I was not alone when it happened. He kept us safe on the side of the freeway. No one veered into us while the tire was being changed. The spare tire was in good condition and able to be used. And BEST OF ALL, we had left home early enough that we were only a few minutes late to church!!!!! I think we got there just as the opening prayer was concluded. That is truly a miracle.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sweatin on Saturday

Last Saturday "Pink Princess Racing" hit Winton Woods with a vengeance. Well..... we went there anyway. We decided to try our legs on the trail and had a great time. Mikayla and Samantha are on the Intermediate School's Cross Country Racing Team and have been practicing for almost two weeks now. Sylvia and I wanted to go around Winton Woods Lake together, so we met there last week. (I brought Jessica, Mikayla, and Sam for good luck!)

We all did some running and walking. And Eric, as our pit crew, kept track of our times on his watch. It was a beautiful morning, nice and cool and we all had a great time! It was a good way to start the Saturday off right!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Lost Links

I am so mad!!! I tried a new format for my blog and lost all my links to my friend's blogs. So, Friends, be patient with me as I try to find all of you again!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


My kids like to line things up! (Mikayla lined up everything, even Halloween candy.) Now, it's Jared's turn. He is currently in a "CARS" phase. Luckily, CARS is one of my favorite movies!

He carries his cars around in an old wipes box with Lightning McQueen on it. He takes the cars to bed with him, he gets them out and lines them up on the kitchen counter while he watches the CARS movie, or eats his meals.

Here, he's got them all lined up on my bed. So cute! Of course, where did Jared get this love for cars???? Duh! Have you met my husband??? :) We call him Limoshane!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Biggest Loser Blog

I've decided it would be fun for those of us who are competing in 2008 Health Challenge to have a place to check in every day and report how you are doing. So, I set one up and here is the address:

p.s. you don't have to be doing the 2008 Health Challenge/Biggest Loser Game to post your workouts!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Happy Days are HERE Again!!!!

My treadmill is ALIVE!!!! It just needed a good cleaning and a lube job. Shane is recovering from a procedure on his knee, so I had to do it with him watching and coaching. It runs BEAUTIFULLY!!! I had to get on it and run/walk 4 miles tonight!

I'm so happy!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Outside the Box

I have been working for a friend of Sylvia's, named Sherrill, for several months. I began working for her to help her clean out and organize her basement. Sherrill likes to have her friends over for dinner and games fairly often, so she has lots of really nice "party" things like fun serving dishes, a large trifle dish, serving platters, etc. Now, here's the problem, Sherrill needed some shelves to store all these nice things on! For months, she and I have struggled with this problem because the shelves she wanted are sold in big 100 pound boxes and were not yet in her basement. They were still at Costco. We have tried several times to arrange things so she could buy the shelves and have them at the house so Shane could carry these impossibly heavy boxes down the stairs to her basement. We never could get the timing right.

Now, today, the miracle happened. I had just arrived at Sherrill's and I took a bunch of her 4th of July party things down to the basement and once again I saw how much she needed those shelves. We needed a MAN to help us!!!! Then, it came to me. We could go to Costco, have them load the shelves into the back of my big van and then when we got to Sherrill's I could open the boxes of shelves while they were still in the van and haul the shelves down to the basement in pieces...... WHAT A BRILLIANT PLAN!

It worked beautifully. The shelves were SO heavy, but piece by piece, it was manageable.

I have been reading a daily devotional book and it has been packed with positive thinking for every day. This mornings reading was entitled, "Program Your Mind for Success". One of the suggestions was to expect good things to happen in your life. Well, HELLO! Today my mind finally figured out the answer to a problem I have struggled with for MONTHS! It was truly a miracle.

I really experienced thinking "outside the box". What a simple solution. Take the shelves OUT of the box while the boxes were still in the van. Sherrill and I did it!

............................and we didn't need a man! :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tithing Blessings

Last week I got to substitute teach the home study seminary class. It was really cool. I haven't been "forced" to study such a big block of scriptures for a lesson in a long time. We were talking about the last 2 books of the Old Testament. We focused on tithing for a few minutes and reviewed Malachi 3:10:

"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

When I gave birth to Tanner I quit my job at the YMCA and since then, I haven't "worked" outside the home. Only occasionally, have I had the opportunity to pay tithing in the past ten years. Well, when I started cleaning houses in September last year I got to start paying my own tithing again. I love it! It feels so good.

We have been the recipients of some of what I call "tithing blessings" over the past month.

First, I have more housecleaning work than I can do. I feel so lucky in that as a working mother, I have found a way to make very good money by the hour and I can set my own hours. I do NOT like leaving the home to work, but I love the people I work for!!!!! I feel that the windows of heaven opened right up and poured out the work offers for me. When I first started cleaning, I didn't know if I could find enough "clients", now I don't have room in my schedule to "receive" all the jobs!

Second, we have a neighbor up the street that I have waved to for 4 years. He walks his dog almost every day and I wave and say hi when I see him. I did not even know his name. But, several weeks he came to the house and gave Shane a big cardboard box of pint-size milks!!! With 6 kids (and a chocolate-milk-loving husband), we go through a lot of milk. This neighbor said they get milk from a dairy for their church and they had a lot leftover. He said he takes the leftovers wherever God tells him. He said "God put you in my heart, so I brought the milk to you." This was a huge blessing to us. Tommy (I finally asked his name) has brought us milk 3 or 4 times now and he has also brought us little single serving apple juices. There was so much milk at times that we "did not have room enough to receive it." We even needed to call friends over to take milk home!

So, I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for these blessings. It is so easy to focus on the hard things that happen every day. It's nice when the blessings are so obvious that you can't help but see them!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

My Friend Won the Women's Division!

I'm so stoked! My friend Michelle won the Women's Division of the Flying Pig MARATHON! I told her Friday night that finally getting to meet her was like meeting a rock star! And was I right!?!

I called her cell phone after church and she told me she won! She said a helicopter followed her the last 10 miles of the race! And she was asked to come back to Cincy tomorrow and throw out the first pitch at the Reds game!!!! I teased her and told her if I had known she was going to win, I would have asked her to sign my marathon poster Friday night! She laughed and I told her that next time I see her she has to sign it!

I just got to see her finish on the 10 o'clock news too! They quoted her as saying she felt like a rock star!!!! I told her so!!!
What a blast! Michelle has been an amazing friend to me for the past 3 years on the beginners forum. When I first started posting she gave me so much encouragement and advice. She also writes fabulous "race reports" soon after she runs. I can't wait to read this one!

When I first started posting on the forum in 2005 I had no idea what a great group of people I would meet. Michelle has been one of them. In November 2005, I met 2 people from the forum, Luis and his wife Lorrie. Lorrie ran the whole 10K with me on Thanksgiving morning. She said it was her honor to run my first 10K with me.

Yesterday, it was my turn. It was MY honor to walk with Sylvia in her first ever 5K. I was so happy to "pay it forward" and do for Sylvia what Lorrie did for me 2 years ago.

Running makes me sore, but most of all it makes me happy.
Congratulations Michelle! And even more important: CONGRATULATIONS SYLVIA!!!!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Flying Pig Day

Here is Sylvia and I at the Health and Fitness Expo Friday night. It was an absolute blast. We had so much fun. We checked in and picked up our racing bibs, marathon posters, and t-shirts. We went to all the booths and got fun give-aways like trial size toothpaste, little energy bars, Smuckers jellies, pens, bandannas, stickers, magnets, etc. (There was Scope too, but that doesn't mean we had bad breath. Really.) There was also LOTS of cools Flying Pig stuff to buy. We showed great restraint in this area and left with most of our money still in our purses. (but not all our moolah!$$$$) I got to meet my friend Michelle who I have known on-line for almost 3 years but never had a chance to see her face to face. She's a top marathon runner. (she actually "wins" marathons) To me it was like meeting a rockstar!!! She was really nice (not a surprise).

We went home totally pumped up and determined to bring big bucks to the expo next year. I "need" that pink jacket, seriously. (and the hat!)

Saturday morning was WET!!!! We got the most awesome parking spot thanks to Eric! It was raining, but not too bad for the start of my race. I was VERY nervous and the butterflies in my stomach were huge! I started the race and got to wave to Sylvia and Eric. (They yelled out "BOOGETY, BOOGETY, BOOGETY BOYS! LET'S GO RACING!- the traditional start at NASCAR races. It was a great way to start the race.)

The best decision I made during this race was head for the first port-a-potty I saw. Very smart. I felt much better and I ran a lot more comfortably after that. My plan was to run and when I got tired take a break and walk. However, I ran almost THE WHOLE THING!!!!! I walked at one water station and once to check my voice mail because I missed a phone call. (It was Karlin. She's so great! She told me she was proud of me and hoped I have a good race. So cool!) That's when I was just crossing the bridge over into Kentucky.

The two best things that happened while I was running was when the conductor running the train on the train bridge waved to me. I waved back and a minute later I heard behind me the train whistle blowing for all us runners. Later, while running along a street in Dayton, Kentucky we ran past a senior citizen apartment building. Several older people had come out to watch the race and several women were waving to us from the windows. I got to wave to two sweet women who had the BEST SMILES! They really made the race more fun.

The hardest part of the race was crossing the big bridge back into Cincinnati. It was the 6th mile and SO STEEP! Lots of the runners were walking. Who could blame them? Coming over the top of the bridge was so great. At that point you know you are almost done and you are actually going to survive. I could see Sylvia and Eric waiting at the "FINISH SWINE" (why didn't I get a picture of that sign?) and I knew I was done. I finished the 6.2 miles in about an hour and 15 minutes! I'm so happy. (Two years ago it took me an hour and 7 minutes. At that time I had been running all year and weighed 20 pounds less than I do now. ) Sylvia and Eric congratulated me and then Sylvia walked me down to the goodie tables. We got the coolest hand towels!

We rested back in the car and snacked until it was time for Sylvia's race, the 5K at 11 am. I'm not going to write much, because it's her deal and she's a better writer anyway. But I will say-SHE WAS AWESOME!!!! It was absolutely POURING rain at the beginning and for about the first half of the race. These are pictures of us on the Kentucky side of the Purple People Bridge heading back into Cincy.

After we crossed the bridge we headed to the finish line. I skipped ahead off to the side (because I couldn't cross the finish line since I didn't pay for the race. I was just the walking buddy.) I got to stand be Eric and cheer for Sylvia as she finished the race. It was a great moment to see her accomplish her goal.

Here's Sylvia. She was just yards from the finish line----still smiling!!
There she buddy crossing the Finish Swine (cool-I do have a picture of the sign!) Isn't she great!

Here's Eric congratulating Sylvia! This is right after the big hug and before the Congratulatory Kiss!
It was a FABULOUS DAY! We had the best time and can't wait to do our next race! I'm grateful to Eric for being such a great pit crew. He held our stuff and cheered us on. Thanks Eric. My brother is far away in Texas. It's nice to have another one here. Especially one as nice as you. You are a blessing.
Sylvia, You are the best. I loved spending the day with you. You are ONE DETERMINED WOMAN! I am so PROUD of you!
Thanks everyone who was rooting for us. The encouragement was priceless!
(Hi Dad and Grandma!!!! If you want to see a great picture of Sylvia and I at the start of her race go to the links on the side of my blog in My Favorites and click on "The Man of Steel Leg" link. Eric put a picture of us in his blog and it's fun to see us soaking wet.)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Call me a DUMBELL!

Two weeks ago, after a run on the treadmill, I came up to my bedroom and began to lift weights. However, the kids needed me, so I left the weights and went back into Mom-mode. At 10 pm that night (after work) I had finally gotten the kids to bed and I was walking fast through my bedroom (in bare feet) and kicked a 10-pound dumbbell!!!! Oh man, did it hurt. Overnight, my toe (next to my littlest piggy) swelled up and turned a bit purple. A day later I did some walking and running, but it was miserable. So, there went my training plan out the window! For the next week and a half I did no running and only the most necessary walking.

Saturday is the Flying Pig 10K. I'm not really ready. But, I'm very excited! Yesterday, I ran/walked 4.25 miles in 61 minutes. Today, I ran/walked 4.25 miles in 56 minutes!!! Saturday will be hard and quite possibly wet as they are predicting rain. But, hey, racing is fun, rain or shine! (Okay, I'm just doing it for the t-shirt!)

I'm so excited to be experiencing this weekend with my buddies, Sylvia and Eric. (Go Syliva!!!!! You're going to do great!)

Wish us luck!!!! (I just hope to survive the 6 miler and maybe have a smile left at the end! :) )

Friday, April 4, 2008

Let's go to the Zoo

Here's a picture of the crew (including Jessica's friend, Michael)at the zoo.

Here's a picture of Tanner and his brothers!

Savannah and Jared in the wagon.

And here's how Savannah and Hunter looked on the way home. Wet and sleepy!
We really had such a great time. We always enjoy the manatee display a lot. It was fun to watch Jared. The fish amazed him! I was holding him an alligator display. I said "WOW", and he repeated in an awed whisper...."wow".
It started pouring down rain. We hid out in the zoo nursery, but some of our silly children left the shelter and played out in the playground. They sure played hard!

My Countdown

I thought I would be fun to show my countdown of my 100 mile goal. Everymile I completed I crossed out. This was taped to my bedroom wall, so I saw it every day! Very motivating! Now, What next?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I DID IT!!!!! 100 MILES!!!!

I'm all done. I finished my 100 mile goal! (It took me one more day then planned, but who cares?!) Today I ran/walked 3 miles in 37:10 minutes. I'm currently walking 1 minute then running for 4 minutes. Rinse and Repeat. Well, just repeat... 6 times for 30 minutes. Today it took and extra rep. Can't wait to drop some pounds and be ready for the 10K!!!!

Jared is next to me on the bed driving a Little Tikes red van filled with an unusual assortment of passengers: 2 Littlest Pet Shop birds and their flowered wagon, 2 Fisher Price bunnies, a "tender car" from Thomas the Tank Engine series, and a little Fisher Price girl wearing a pink dress (she's driving!). He keeps rolling the van back and forth saying "vroom, vroom." Unfortunately, the bunnies keep falling out and he says "uh-oh". He says it several times until I look at him, then he puts them back. He's so cute.

Monday, March 31, 2008

I highly recommend you read this

My sister has quite an entertaining entry on her blog called "To Brow or Not to Brow, that is the question". If you want to know that you are not the only one with quirky kids. You should read this. Trust me.

My Turtle Is Approaching the Finish Line

So, tomorrow is April 1st and I am 3 miles away from my 100 mile goal. I plan on finishing up tomorrow. I've been able to increase my running a bit and can't wait for it to get easier!!! It seems to take forever at times. I really need to get some "outdoor" running done. The treadmill is really hard, but actual road and hills is much harder. The 10K is less than 5 weeks away. I doubt that I will be able to run the whole thing, but who cares. I just want to do better than I did in the 5K last year.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hi Grandma!!!!!!

Mom says you are reading my blog and enjoying it! Thanks! We got a lot of snow here last week. 9 inches which is nothing for you and a bunch for us. We're doing pretty well. Savannah, Tanner, and Jessica all had strep throat so I asked for antibiotics for Mikayla and Hunter as well. Every night we would line up all the kids and dose them.

I'm cleaning houses now to make a little extra money, but I find it is really cutting down on the time I need for the fun things in life, like, oh I don't know.... our LAUNDRY, cleaning the house and cooking meals!!! It's really been hard to figure out how to get everything done, but I guess that keeps life interesting.

I'm getting back into running (very slowly). I'm training for a 6 mile race on May 3rd. I don't think I'll be able to run the whole thing, but if a can run at least half of it I'll be happy.

Hope you are having a good week. Mom tells me you are enjoying doing geneology (I think she said you were doing indexing for the church!). And that you are walking a lot too.

We sure do love you!!!

Savannah Banana

Savannah broke out in a horrible rash Sunday and stopped walking because her legs hurt so much. She has been sick for two weeks. First it was strep throat, but the fever wouldn't go away and then the rash started. When she started crawling around everywhere I got really scared. I took her to the doctor and the diagnosis was that it might be mono! How weird is that?! They pricked her finger and took a blood sample. The first test came back negative. The nurses tried to find a good vein in her arm to take another sample to send to Children's Hospital, but Savannah didn't think it was a good idea. I ended up stretched out on the table with me holding her down, Savannah screaming, two nurses holding onto her arm, and Jared standing by my leg crying. They gave up and sent me to Children's Outpatient in Mason.

It went a little better there, but by the time it was over Savannah and I were both crying and when they offered her a sucker for being good, I took one too!!!

Today, we headed back to the doctor and found out the mono test came back negative. (after all that drama!) We went through the torture of another finger prick to find out that Savannah's white blood cell count is coming back up. (thank goodness) The official diagnosis is that she has been suffering from a virus and just ended up with a viral rash. She's no longer contagious and she is getting her energy back.

I'm just thrilled that we are on the road to recovery. IT HAS BEEN A LONG COUPLE OF WEEKS!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

My Pity Party

I am having my very own pity party. I've had a couple tough weeks with kids being sick, lots of make up work, and doctors appointments. But today I finally had a day when I didn't have to go anywhere and I could stay home to clean my house and do lots of laundry. I got started on the upstairs bathrooms. I swept, stripped the wax, and started waxing the floors. While applying the second coat of wax in my bathroom, my vision started to go bad and I knew one of my wonderful migraine headaches was now on today's schedule.

I finished the floors, took my pain pills, and tried to take it easy until the kids settled down for their naps. I got in a nap myself, but when I woke up I found out that Shane was not coming home in time to watch the kids so I could go to Enrichment. I couldn't take the kids with me because Savannah has a fever and Jared has a head cold. I wanted to go so bad!!!!

Even worse is that the Stampin Up party I was going to attend tomorrow night with Sylvia was cancelled due to the expected bad weather!!!!! I lost both of my "fun" nights in one fail swoop!

My house is still a mess and I missed out on a killer salad bar...... Oh well, at least my 2 bathroom floors ROCK!!!!!

I'm the boss, Applesauce!

A few days ago, I was getting all the kids in the dining room for dinner and they were so loud that I insisted that they sit down and not say one word! The older kids thought this was so funny. If they started to talk, I cut them off and told them to be quiet! They started grinning and pretended to start talking to try to get a rise out of me. (shocking, I know)

Well, Savannah came in and sat down next to me. Of course, she started to talk and tell me all the things on the table she did not want to eat for dinner. I hushed her several times. The other kids kept snickering. Then Shane walked in. Savannah turned to him and complained, "Dad! Mom's trying to boss us!"

Shane almost lost it! The kids did! They all started laughing. Savannah couldn't figure out what was so funny! Shane told her, "She's supposed to boss you.....she IS the boss!"

(at least Shane knows!)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bye-bye High Chair

My high chair is outside on the curb waiting for the garbage truck. For the first time in over 16 years, my house will have no high chair in it. It's a little sad, but I am so tired of tripping over it and walking around it, that I am extremely happy to let it go. It was a gift from Shane's mom when Tanner was born and has served us very well for the last 4 kids. But, it is SO COOL to be able to say "so long" to the baby years. It has been a long 16 1/2 years of babyhood!!!! :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Unexpected Blessings

Sometimes in life you have to do something you don't exactly want to do. I needed to go to work last September to help get some bills paid. So, I tried to get a job at the Y, but they weren't hiring for the position I wanted. Instead, as most of you know, I started cleaning houses. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. :)

I work for 3 of the best women ever! Jean Pace is a great lady who is unbelievably talented!!! She inspired me to try crocheting with thread. While I was laid up after hurting my back I got a whole doily done!!! I have really come to love Jean. It is so true that you learn to love the ones you serve.

Then, there is Sylvia. She's been a friend of mine for years, but I never made time to hang out with her on a regular basis. Now, we exercise together every week and sometimes I work a little! She is so wise and an absolute BLAST to be around!!!

Last, is Linda. We talk about life, kids, money, etc. I love to clean her house. It stays so clean. There aren't any little kids messing up everything I do!!!

I had no idea when I started working again that I would end up with so many blessings. These three women make me feel wonderful. The additional money has helped with our bills, but even better has been my time with three people I love. Heavenly Father is so wise.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Super Saturday

I love the adult session of Stake Conference! Tonight was no exception. First, I got to pick Shane up at the stake center and we went to Subway! It was PACKED with Mormons! We saw the Jungkunzes (how should I spell that?), the DeGraws, Mike Lysle, Tom Westfall, Jerry Flyr, and 3 other LDS people I didn't know! After eating, we went back for the meeting. I love our stake presidency. They are the best! At first, I started feeling "the guilt". The first topic was family history. Like I have time for that! But, President Weisman told us all about the new and improved streamlined method of preparing names for the temple! TOO COOL! We learned about missionary work. Again, the guilt. But, it was very spiritual and motivating! Finally, family preparedness. Luckily, we're making some decent strides in that area. So, the guilt faded quickly. After the meeting, things just kept getting better. I got to visit with Jen Livingston (great fun), Mayde Robertson, the Striebecks, etc! Then we headed to UDF and had ice cream with 5 other couples. It was a blast. Everybody was so funny! We heard lawyer jokes (told by real lawyers), girls' camp and scout camp stories, and accounts of getting speeding tickets and getting out of speeding tickets. The whole evening was really nice and a great night out!!!! I can't wait to do it again.

Pain in the Back

So, last Saturday I took a step wrong while skipping down my stairs. I wrenched my back and have spent the week trying to HEAL! I'm so sick of my heating pad! I haven't been able to exercise, do much laundry, or work a whole lot. But, I'm feeling a bit better and I'm thrilled. The best part of the week was the many times Hunter put his arm around my shoulders and said "I hope your back gets better soon Mom." I love my boys.

Monday, January 28, 2008

a mommy moment

I've noticed that I'm not writing much in my blog besides my exercise goals, but I guess a blog is supposed to be personal and can be about whatever you want. I'm very focused on my fitness goals, so that's what I write.

But, last week I had a sweet moment with Jared I wanted to share. He and I were on my bed, snuggled up while he was having a morning bottle of milk. We were watching tv when he leaned back his head to look at me and get a kiss and he said "mama" for the first time. Oh, it just melted my heart! He has been saying "MAAAA" (like a very load bleating lamb) for several weeks, but his was so tender and sweet. I said "Jared" back to him and he repeated the process several times; looking back, getting a kiss and saying "mama".

The funny thing is, he hasn't said "mama" since. But, I don't mind. I had that moment and it was great!


I'm so excited. I finished the last 3 miles at 10:45 last night! I was proud that I made it happen! I've got my next goal all set!

1 mile run
2 miles walk
for 7 days

So, that is my next 21 miles in 7 days goal.

I'm in training for the FLYING PIG 10K!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

No Snowday-Thank Goodness

My kids were bouncing off the walls yesterday, so I am glad they are in school today! I woke up with Mikayla checked the school closings. After she left for the bus, I sneaked into my room and got my exercise clothes, shoes, and the 3 Fast Miles DVD. (I had to be sneaky, because Savannah was asleep in my bed. And believe me, I didn't want her around for the whole workout.)

I did my workout in the family room with the fireplace blasting me with heat. (not good) But, I got my second day done and I feel great. I had to pause the workout several times: to wake up the boys, comb their hair, sign papers, and watch them at the busstop. Now, it is 9:10 am. My workout is done. I've had a healthy breakfast and I'm headed to the shower. I wish all mornings could start just like this.

Monday, January 21, 2008

21 Miles in 7 Days!!!

Last week I was really tired and emotionally drained. I struggled with my diet plans and exercise goals and dealing with life in general. So, I took the week off and took a couple naps. Today, I finally exercised again. I did the 3 Fast Miles DVD by Leslie Sansone. It really lifted my mood and my energy level. It is amazing to me that exercise doesn't make me very tired. It makes me smile and laugh with my kids and feel like a different person.
I am DETERMINED to do this DVD each day for 7 consecutive days. So here goes......

Monday 1/21-3 miles!!!
Tuesday 1/22-3 miles!!!
Wednesday 1/23-3 miles!!!
1 mile run on the treadmill
1 mile walk on the treadmill
Thursday 1/24-3 miles!!!
stretching workout with Sylvia

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Grounding Teenagers

Whose bright idea was that???? Sure we ground them and then all they can do is hang out with us??? I had to revoke Jessica's driving privileges for 3 days. So, who do you think is getting up to drive her to seminary??? That's right. Poor little ole me. Oh, what I suffer! :)

Sylvia's Walk at Home workout

I have done Sylvia's Walk at Home workouts 3 times now and let me just say they kick my hiney!!!! They are hard. I really like them because the steps are not complicated, so we can talk and goof off and still do the workout. Sylvia lent me one of the DVDs and I did a "2 mile workout" today. It was hard and fun. The kids kept getting in the way. But I only knocked Jared down twice and stepped on his hand once. That's pretty good right?

Monday, January 7, 2008

A 5K today

Jessica called me at 6:45 to tell me she had locked her keys in the car. I was not happy to hear this as I had been deep in sleep when the phone rang. So, I dragged myself out of bed and went to check on Mikayla. She had overslept and had to hustle to catch the bus. I drove to the high school to let Jess in her car and got to meet her friend Michaela who totalled her car last week and needed to car pool with Jessica out to Butler Tech.

I didn't get back home in time to see Mikayla before she left for school, buuuuuuuut I was already up and dressed so I headed for the dreadmill.

I RAN 3.1 miles today. My total today (with a bit of walking to warm up and cool down) was 3.2 miles in 41:39 minutes. This was accomplished with help from Abbey and Cassie for being motivating, Sylvia for being my workout buddy and by my determination to log 100 miles by April 1st. Thanks also to Jen Livingston for posting about her 7 pound weight loss. (very helpful)

It is over an hour since I finished my run and my face is still nice and warm and a little red. What a great way to start the day!!!!!

Friday, January 4, 2008


11 REASONS WHY I LOVE HEATHER (I couldn't stop at 10)

1. She knows good chocolate and is always willing to share. (at least I think so, she could be hiding her stash. If she is, then I respect her even more.)

2. She is incredibly talented. (and incredibly humble.)

3. She is not easily offended and gives people the benefit of the doubt.

4. She draws really cool cartoon people.

5. She loves Mexican food as much as I do.

6. She loves to read.

7. She knows all about the Force.

8. She helps other mothers all the time by watching their kids for them and seems happy to do it!!!! (amazing, isn't it?)

9. She has a great sense of humor and a great laugh to match it.

10. She has a wonderful listening ear and is very supportive.

11. Most of all I love Heather because she is such a good friend.

As Eeyore would say, "Many happy returns." I hope you have a fabulous birthday Heather!!!!! You are the best!

When You Can't Sleep

The past 2 nights have been a bit dreadful as far as sleeping goes. My thoughts are whirling around as I try to solve my problems and those problems belonging to others I know. (this is not a productive exercise) So, I try to redirect my crazy mind to things I enjoy and so I design cards or scrapbook pages in my head. My current favorite is a re-do of a Christmas card with baby Jesus on it.
So, my question for all of you is:
What things do you think about to cheer yourself up?