Saturday, December 11, 2010

Frosty 5K...

In my last post, I mentioned that I had picked up running again after completely giving it up about 2 years ago when my 4th child was born AND I started homeschooling. I just figured, this is just a season of life that cannot include exercise. To be fair, it's pretty difficult to find time or energy to exercise when you're sleep deprived, have 4 young children to take care of all day long, and then figure out homeschooling along with that. Our associate pastor's wife and I have been talking about getting back into exercise for the past year or so since we live near each other and we're both in the same boat - except she has 6 kids and is homeschooling 4 of them. Then one day, she sent me an email saying let's move beyond talk. We were both motivated by a guy in our church who had picked up running and was trying to get a group together to sign up for the Frisco Frosty 5K on December 11th. So in mid-September, we started the 'couch to 5K' workout program and today, we ran the Frosty 5K!

I ran a Susan Komen 5K in Phoenixville back in 1997 in about 25 minutes. I certainly wasn't looking to beat my last time today, but I ran today's 5K in 28:20, ranked 18th in my age group (about 78 women) and 240th overall (about 800 runners), which gave me about a 9 minute/mile pace. I wasn't training to 'race' today, but rather to have fun. And it was fun! It's definitely motivating to be with a group and have people you know cheering you on. It feels great to be back into running and I'm looking forward to another 5K in the future...when my legs don't feel so sore!

Friday, October 29, 2010

More effects of the Fall...

It's been a long while since I've posted anything on this blog...

Yesterday morning, I came back from my early morning run (oh yes, I've started running again since my last post - I think I'm about 6 or 7 weeks into it) and found out that Christopher was complaining of a stomach ache. That's about all he said about it and he then proceeded to eat a full breakfast of french toast. I figured he must be fine since he ate breakfast and then asked him to get dressed and ready to start school. Next thing I know, he's lying in my bed under the covers. I said, "Hey, didn't I tell you to get dressed?" He groaned and said that his tummy still hurt. I asked him what he meant by that and he couldn't quite find the words. I left him there so I could at least get school ready for Sarah. After about 10 minutes I finally had the presence of mind to bring him a bowl or something, just in case. He was in my bed, after all. I walked in the room, laid the bowl on the bed next to him and said, "Hey Christopher, here's a bowl just in case you feel like you're going to get sick." I kid you not, the second after I said that, he leaned over the bowl and hurled his french toast breakfast into it! Good timing - sheesh.

After I figured he was finished, I made him follow me to the bathroom. As he stumbled alongside, he declared, "If only Adam and Eve didn't choose to obey Satan." Indeed. We'd all be spared from the dreaded stomach bugs.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Conversations I overheard while painting...

Yesterday I took on the task of painting Christopher and Sarah's room for the first time since we moved into this house. It was high time we added some color to that room bathed in bone white builder paint, so why not do it the week before we leave for vacation? Oh, the other big motivator was that we had just been given a bunk bed from some friends of ours, but we didn't want to put the bunk bed together until we painted the room.

So as soon as we were finished with breakfast, I started hauling everything out of the room, bit by bit. What I found behind the dressers and under the beds was rather appalling, so then began the cleaning process. I clogged the vacuum cleaner with all of the clumps of dust and had to take the whole thing apart to unclog it. I then had the kids wipe down the base boards before I put down the blue tape. This whole process took the entire morning up until lunch. The tape was on all base boards, doors, window seats, electrical sockets, etc., the drop cloth was down and we were ready to paint...but not until the younger two (Hannah and Mary Grace) were down for their naps. I realized that the last time we painted a room in the house, it was before we had any kids...
Mary Grace looks on as Sarah and Christopher wipe down baseboards.

This photo captures the bone white builder paint, but does not show all of the scuff marks that accumulated over the years.

It was quite a task keeping all the kids out of the room while I was setting it up. Christopher grew tired of being kicked out and was impatient to start painting, so he posted a sign on the door that read, "Work place is opened" if that would speed things up.

Painting took ALL afternoon. Christopher and Sarah eagerly helped with the painting when we first got started and kept at it for quite a while. They kept saying things like, "I love painting", "this is so fun", "this is REAL work", "Yeah, this is what adults do - I like to do adult work", and "look at this, Sarah - look how much I painted here" and "Oh Christopher, you need to get some paint over there" or "I need you to come over here and paint this part that I can't reach." Surprisingly enough, they were very thorough, took their jobs very seriously and did a great job.

Eventually, my neighbor sent her daughter over to see if they wanted to come out and play. By that time, they were ready and I could go over all the spots they missed and finish it off. When it was all said and done, the painting, detail work or touch ups were completed around 5pm.

While I was working on the edging up by the ceiling, John was out in the garage figuring out how to put the bunk bed together and listening to his sermon from this past Sunday. The kids came back over and I heard the neighbor girl ask, "Is that your dad talking?" Christopher replied, "Yeah, that's his sermon." After that I didn't hear anything until Sarah walked up and said, "Hey Rylie, what are you doing?" She said, "I'm listening to your dad talk." Sarah said, "Oh, but it's really boring...come with me." Too funny. At that part of the afternoon, I think we had accumulated up to 8 kids, including our own, running through the house.

Here's the finished product along with the bunk bed, which took John and his dad the remainder of the evening to put together.

Sarah conceded to painting the room blue ("Ocean View", to be precise) because she knows she'll eventually move into the pink room with Hannah and Mary Grace. We have yet to paint the girls' room, but we've already bought the paint ("Hawaiian breeze"). I just need some time to recover before I start that project.

Sarah is enjoying the extra space in the room. She also assured me that while she doesn't like the color blue (it's a 'boy' color to her), she does like blue paint.

This is what I captured right after Christopher said, "Hey Hannah, look at me up in my new bunk bed!"

Another view. Even though blue is a 'cool' color, I think it adds a lot of warmth to the room.

Christopher, enjoying his new room.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sweet and funny sister moments

The following photos demonstrate the nurturer nature of my oldest daughter, Sarah, and the copy cat nature of my youngest, Mary Grace. Mary Grace is heavily into Eric Carle board books (well, any board book, for that matter) and is constantly grabbing a book from her book basket and begging us to read to her...even if I'm in the middle of cooking the meal or if I'm just sitting down to eat. It is at these inconvenient moments that I tell her to take the book to Sarah or Hannah, both of whom take up the responsibility most eagerly. Being the oldest daughter, Sarah has always been a little mommy. Now it is so sweet to see Hannah picking up that role with Mary Grace as well.

Here you will see Sarah reading Eric Carle's Head to Toe, a huge favorite with all of my kids during the toddler years.
When Sarah first laid down on the floor with the book, Mary Grace laid down on her tummy right next to her! Of course, I didn't get to the camera in time for that pose before they started moving.

"I am a cat. I can arch my back. Can you do it?" "I can do it!"

"I am a camel. I can bend my knees. Can you do it?" "I can do it!"

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The power of the cross...

The Power of the Cross

Words & Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend

Oh, to see the dawn
Of the darkest day:
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men,
Torn and beaten, then
Nailed to a cross of wood.

This, the pow’r of the cross:
Christ became sin for us;
Took the blame, bore the wrath—
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh, to see the pain
Written on Your face,
Bearing the awesome weight of sin.
Ev’ry bitter thought,
Ev’ry evil deed
Crowning Your bloodstained brow.

Now the daylight flees;
Now the ground beneath
Quakes as its Maker bows His head.
Curtain torn in two,
Dead are raised to life;
“Finished!” the vict’ry cry.

Oh, to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death;
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.

Final Chorus:
This, the pow’r of the cross:
Son of God—slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross.

© 2005 Thankyou Music.

See a video and listen to the music for this here:

Saturday, March 20, 2010

There is therefore now no condemnation...

"Our shame is ended, for He has borne it! Our punishment is removed: He has endured it all. Double for all our sins has our Redeemer paid. Return unto thy rest, O my soul, and let peace take full possession of thy weeping heart.” Charles Spurgeon

Thursday, March 18, 2010

This and that...

Cutest thing - I hadn't heard from Mary Grace in a while (usually not a good sign), so I looked in the backyard and found her like this.

Then of course, Hannah and Sarah wanted me to take their picture.

Mary Grace settled herself in...


Christopher squinting in the sun.

Hannah and Sarah in a sea of bubbles.

MG covered in suds. (yes, that's tear-free shampoo)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

As far as I know, I don't have a single drop of Irish blood running through my veins. However, in honor of the holiday, I thought I'd bake my first loaf of Irish soda bread. It's sweeter than a yeast bread, but not as sweet as your normal, sticky sweet bread. We ate nearly 1/2 the entire loaf and I may be back for more before the night is through...

And now, in honor of St. Patrick himself, I want to post his "breastplate prayer", which is one of my favorites:

I arise today

Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,

Through the belief in the threeness,

Through confession of the oneness

Of the Creator of Creation.

I arise today

Through the strength of Christ's birth with his baptism,

Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,

Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,

Through the strength of his descent for the judgment of Doom.

I arise today

Through the strength of the love of Cherubim,

In obedience of angels,

In the service of archangels,

In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,

In prayers of patriarchs,

In predictions of prophets,

In preaching of apostles,

In faith of confessors,

In innocence of holy virgins,

In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today

Through the strength of heaven:

Light of sun,

Radiance of moon,

Splendor of fire,

Speed of lightning,

Swiftness of wind,

Depth of sea,

Stability of earth,

Firmness of rock.

I arise today

Through God's strength to pilot me:

God's might to uphold me,

God's wisdom to guide me,

God's eye to look before me,

God's ear to hear me,

God's word to speak for me,

God's hand to guard me,

God's way to lie before me,

God's shield to protect me,

God's host to save me

From snares of devils,

From temptations of vices,

From everyone who shall wish me ill,

Afar and anear,

Alone and in multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,

Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,

Against incantations of false prophets,

Against black laws of pagandom

Against false laws of heretics,

Against craft of idolatry,

Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,

Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.

Christ to shield me today

Against poison, against burning,

Against drowning, against wounding,

So that there may come to me abundance of reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,

Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ on my right, Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today

Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,

Through belief in the threeness,

Through confession of the oneness,

Of the Creator of Creation.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A 6 1/2 year old's thoughts on the aseity of God

Yesterday evening after all the girls had gone to bed, Christopher and I were sitting in the family room having conversations about random things. After a few moments of silence, he blurted out, "Well, we could walk to Nana's house since we know the way. Right?" I said, "Well, you could, but it's 3 miles to Nana's house." Undaunted, Christopher replied, "So? We walked more than 3 miles on that hike in Colorado, right?" I conceded, "Yes, we hiked 3 1/2 miles...but you'll remember that everyone was falling apart on the last mile back to the van. You had blisters on your feet, Sarah kept tripping and scraping her knees, Mary Grace was crying..." Christopher said, "Yeah. It was like a 6-person Cherokee Trail of Tears." Oh, that gave me a good chuckle. Gotta love those homeschooled kids.
I shared this story with Nana this morning which reminded her of a conversation that she had with Christopher in the car the other day. Christopher said out of the blue, "Nana, you know what I have a hard time believing?" Nana: "What's that?" Christopher said, "I just don't understand how God can have no beginning." Nana said, "Yes, that is a very hard thing for us to understand. But He doesn't have an ending either." Christopher quickly said, "Oh, I can believe that He doesn't have an ending. I just don't understand how He doesn't have a beginning. I mean, when did God come to be?" Nana said, "He didn't, He just always was." Christopher said, "When I get to heaven, that's definitely one thing I'm going to ask God about... Do you think that we'll be able to see God?" Nana, "Well, God is a Spirit and doesn't have a body...but Jesus does, and you'll be able to see Jesus." Then Sarah, my 5 year old, interjected, "Christopher, just talk to Jesus. Jesus has a body and He's the same as God."

Love it!