Sunday, May 22, 2016

Ron's First Marathon!

Last week my mom, stepdad, and I went to Maine with my brother to cheer him on for his first marathon. He has been running for awhile now but started training specifically for this marathon in January. By the day of the race, he had logged over 850 miles just since 1/1/16! What's 26.2 more, right?!
Checking out the marathon course during packet pick up the day before the race.
Race day. Let's go!
After we dropped Ron off at the starting line we went back to our rental house so we could watch him run by between miles 6 and 7. The 6 ladies from Boston who were watching from the driveway next to us in their housecoats and slippers chanted his name and cheered when he went by. It was pretty funny.  We moved along the course and stopped to cheer him on at miles 14, 18, and 21. Until the marathon, he had never run more than 16 miles at a time. He looked really strong every time we saw him until mile 21. He seemed to be struggling a bit, so we decided to find one more spot before the finish line to cheer him on. When we saw him again just before mile 25, he was back in his groove and looked great.
Rounding the corner by our place. The other runners pretended the ladies were cheering for them. :)

Between miles 6 & 7

Mile 14.

Looks like he's out for a stroll. He ran the whole route, though. All 26.2 miles. 

Coming over the hill at mile 18

The home stretch

His time was actually a little less than that because he didn't cross the starting line the second the race started.

Almost smiled at the finish line.

Definitely a grimace after the finish line.

There isn't any place around him where he could have trained outdoors and been prepared for the hilliness of the course! So. Many. Hills. And it was windy. But in true Ron fashion, he stuck with it and nailed his goal. For his first marathon, he finished in a little over 3 hours and 24 minutes and was 74th out of 859. I think that's amazing.

Congratulations hug from mom. Or maybe she was holding him up.

Post race massage

I was so glad I got to be a part of something that means so much to him.

Thursday, May 19, 2016


The lilacs are in bloom and filling the air with such a pleasant fragrance. We have some right outside one of our front windows, and our neighbors have a row of them along their patio out back. It's one of my favorite smells.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

6th Grade Camp

Our district has a 6th grade camp for all the 6th graders. They go during school for three days and stay two nights. It's a couple hours away in the woods and hills and they stay in cabins and "rough" it, with no communication from anyone outside of camp. It is a wonderful experience for the kids. I think most students would say it is one of the highlights of their school careers. Tyler didn't really want to go but ended up having a wonderful time. He still talks about it. Today it was Danielle's turn to go. I forgot to take a picture of her before she left this morning, so one of my teacher chaperone friends sent me this when the kids first arrived. I miss her, but I'm sure she's having a wonderful time. I'm looking forward to hearing all about it when she gets back!!

Saturday, May 07, 2016

We're Still Here!

We're still here, despite the lack of posts. I have been going to bed shortly after we put the kids to bed and just haven't had time to do much more than check my email and occasionally Facebook. We only have 3 weeks of school left, so hopefully I will be able to stay up past 9:30 after awhile! I remember not understanding why my mom was always so tired when I was younger. She worked more hours than I do now and was a single parent for awhile. Looking back, I don't know how she managed to do all that she did. Plus, I'm sure my brother took a lot of energy to parent. :)

Volleyball is winding down. Danielle's team has done very well this year. They placed second in a big tournament a couple weeks ago. Some clubs like to give out tshirts instead of medals, so this is Danielle's team sporting their 2nd place shirts after the tournament. I think it's a bit of a rip off when you consider how much all the teams pay to enter the tournament, but we've gotten used to it. Tshirts don't hang on a trophy shelf very well, though. Danielle's team placed 3rd twice, 2nd twice, and 1st once, all in the gold bracket, this season. (They placed 5th in the tournament that Danielle missed. ) That's a very good record. We enjoyed having Grandma & Grandpa R watch a couple matches last week, and Uncle Ron has been a good cheerleader this season, too. They have their state finals next Saturday and then the season will be over...just in time for softball to start!

Tyler has been busy raising money for a big band trip he will go on with the marching band next school year. He's also been practicing for his upcoming band performance. He has three solos. I don't think any of them are as big as the one he had last year, but he's excited about it. They are playing the Best of Journey, and Ron and I have been enjoying listening to him practice that one! Occasionally we belt out the lyrics and the kids can't decide if it's funny or sad. It's probably both. Tyler is also counting down the days until the 8th graders go to Washington DC at the end of the month. I can't believe he's almost done with jr high.

And I also can't believe Danielle is almost a jr higher! She is getting ready for 6th grade camp in a couple weeks. She finished up her science fair project this week. She has to present it next week, but the bulk of the work is out of the way. I thought her topic was boring but it got the job done. She's looking forward to softball season beginning.

The kids went to the elementary school carnival last weekend. I love it when they chose to spend time together. It doesn't seem like it happens very often. He finds her annoying and she does things to purposefully aggravate him. But, they had about 2 hours last weekend where they were friends and I have pictures to prove it. Danielle took the selfie at the carnival. It's one of my favorites.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

D's Fairy Garden

Uncle Ron bought Danielle a couple fairy garden items for Christmas and gave her a gift card to a local nursery for Easter so she could start a fairy garden. We added a gift card she got to Joann Fabrics from Mamaw & Papaw's annual Easter egg hunt and went shopping for garden supplies today.

We decided to make it in a birdbath that belonged to my great aunt. We plan to add a few more homemade items at some point: a ladder hanging down from the hanging basket to the birdbath, a tire swing, and a pond with fish. We also need to add a little mulch. Hopefully it will withstand the weather. We may need to glue a few items in place. I love it!!


Sunday, April 17, 2016

An "Excellent" Performance

Tyler participated in a middle school solo and ensemble competition on Saturday. He played a trumpet solo with a piano accompanist. The school where the competition was held was huge and the halls were busy. It was also a little difficult to find the right rooms, which didn't help calm the jitters.  Despite being nervous, he did a great job! He earned a II, which is an "excellent". (The scale is I - V, superior - needs improvement.) We had a total of 7 students, including Tyler, from our school who performed solos. I think all of them received IIs, so they all did very well.

Recording and photographs were prohibited, but here is a picture of Tyler by his score. He also received a comment sheet from the judge and a certificate with his rating on it. It was a very good experience for him, and I think he would like to try again next year.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Puppy Snuggles

My coworker's beagle had puppies 3 weeks ago. We stopped by to see them the other evening. They were sweet. Her beagle is a working dog and the babies she keeps will be trained to flush game, too. As sweet as that little face is, I still prefer goldens.