Fall is Settling In

This last week we took advantage of the flexibility of homeschooling and went camping…we packed up Frazier, our Arabic lessons, reading, and Bible and hit the road.  We became mosquito fodder for a few days as we enjoyed the quiet of Lake Michigan.

We came home in time to start our homeschool co-op classes.  Patrice is taking gym, kite making, and games.  Sue is checking out gym, kite making, and sports info.  Caitlyn is learning about immigration and refugees, games, and photography.  I am teaching the class on immigration and refugees and helping in the games class.

Friday we headed to the library after our studies at home (they were not so thrilled with the double portion of math…but that’s the price you pay for going to the beach!)

I am enjoying the cooler temperatures as my runs get longer–my next half marathon is less than a month away.  Saturday I ran 8.5 miles.  I am happy to report I didn’t run out of stamina, I just ran out of time as we were headed to visit with friends for the evening.

Daddy got super brave and asked Caitlyn to trim his hair.  She said later, “I’ve been teasing him for so long that I would do it, but once he asked me to, I was scared!!”  She did a great job!!

Heart On My Sleeve

I remember when Caitlyn was born discovering how painful it was to love someone other than yourself.  I mean, I love my husband, no doubt about it, but there is just something about that baby.

Digital StillCamera

I went back to work when she was 10 weeks old, but before that, I stood in Target one night crying because she was growing so fast and was going to grow up and leave me.

Here we are 12 years later–I want to throw up each time I think of her growing up so quickly.

Then came Sue…

And finally Patrice.

I love them so much.   How in heavens name could I love anything else?

But then…

I’ve had dogs most of my life and I really loved my Stuie…but this guy?  We got him for the girls…and I got a dog.  He doesn’t snub the girls like my mom’s dog did me when I was growing up, but he’s my dog.

He runs the vast majority of my miles with me (11.5 this last week), he is incredibly grounding and comforting for me when the Bipolar gets overwhelming…I love this little guy.

Then over the last week he started coughing here and there…until yesterday when he would cough so much he was throwing up some.  I have been panicking.  My mind of course going to every worse case scenario possible.  I even asked my Sunday School, you know, a room full of adults, to pray for my dog…

He seems much better this afternoon.  I even think we have narrowed down the issue (kennel cough?) which is easily treated.  I am so relieved.  And so hopeful that my little running buddy will be back at it soon.

(It drives hubby crazy how much the dog is up on furniture, but he is so gosh darn cute and I think he is a huge part of how well I am doing with the bipolar…having him curl up next to me is better than any of the medications they have given me)

Protecting Me

How do you do it?  How do you homeschool your kids?

Some days, I don’t know.  I love homeschooling my kids and having them with me.  That closeness is a lot of why I first considered homeschooling.  But I am, at my core, an introvert who requires time to recharge on my own–alone–away from people–quietly–and there is not a lot of that when you are a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of three girls, ages 8, 10, and 12.

And there is the husband who likes to talk.  And going to church with people.  And I have an amazing tribe of women in my life that I love spending time with.

All of these things are fantastic, and I wouldn’t change them, but I can end up tapped out before the day even begins.

That’s where distance running comes in.  Today, I logged 7 miles with Frazier.  It was incredible.  I waved at a few people and they waved at me, I  listened to a book on Intercessory Prayer, told the dog to heel, and ran for over an hour and a half…that’s it.  For once, I didn’t wish I were a faster runner, though I am a little embarrassed to say how long my runs take, I just felt the power of being able to put one foot in front of the other for that long.  And when I finished, I knew I could have gone farther, likely, much farther.

I am home now, needing to take a shower, but I wanted to process some of this first.  The gift that is the time it takes me to run the distances I want to go.

The school year will start the week after next.  There will be more in my day and the time to run my distances I love so much will be harder to find, but find them I will, no matter what it takes.

I am blessed to have the time with my girls.  I am blessed to have my time to run…one makes the other possible.

Running Partner

I follow a lot of runners on Instagram and they all mention how great a running partner is.  Thing is, I am too slow to run with anybody.  I once tried to join the local running group and they told me they didn’t have anyone that did slower than a 10-minute mile but they would give me a map I could follow–gee thanks.  I can make my own route…I was interested in running with somebody.

Then, for a short time I could run with Caitlyn, but she is faster than me and trying to get her to run is very difficult.

I gave up on running with anybody and just ran for myself, but I was kind of bummed out.

Then this little dude came along.

His legs are long enough to run with me but not so long that he’s dragging me.  I have started taking him with me more often.  The other day I tried to sneak out without him and he was having nothing of it.  He now gets excited just seeing me in my running clothes.  He does 4 miles easily, though by the end he is slowing down.  I don’t know how much further he can go–I might have to sneak out for my longer runs, but for now, I am really excited to have a running buddy.

Hubby still sometimes makes the silly mistake of thinking he is the girls’ dog.  Nope, he is mine, all mine.

 

Fourteen Years in the Blink of an Eye

14 years ago, and a few hours ago, I got the call that my daddy was dead.

At 52 years of age, a car accident took him from us.

Was he perfect?  Heck no.  He was gruff, often sounded mad, and stunk at staying in touch, but he was mine.  He taught me to tie my shoes, ride a bike, built a pair of stilts for us to play on, did fun things when I least expected them,  taught me to change the oil in my car, and change the brakes, taught me to work hard and always to the best of my ability.

He only met my husband to be a couple of times and never met my girls.  I told him about my engagement over the phone, but he was gone 2 weeks later so never saw me get married.

Every year I look for ways to remember him.  He died before the age of taking pictures all the time so I’ve about reached the end of my collection, but last night we were at the county fair, and while I don’t remember us going to the fair often as a kid, the fair last night had something that very much brought my daddy to mind.

Tractors.

Farmall H and Allis Chalmers to be exact. Those were two models I know he and my grandpa Dussel shared over the years.

This Allis Chalmers happens to be from the same year my dad was born.

I’ll just be over here shedding a few tears.

Teeny Tiny Dancer

Last September we decided to add another layer of learning to Sue’s love of theatre.  She began dance lessons.  Today was the culmination of her 9 months of hard work…and we were wowed!

My first attempt at her makeup.  I found myself completely overwhelmed by the prospect of doing her makeup.  In some ways, I am pretty girly, in other ways, not at all.  I wear makeup very rarely and have never put it on someone else.  There were some adjustments, but we got it sorted out and her on to the next step.

Caitlyn stepped in to help with more bobby pins and some safety pins…nothing fell out so she obviously did a great job!

Waiting for backstage to open.

We were in the second row so I could obey the rules of no flash photography and still get pictures of Sue.

We got a surprise at the end of intermission when Sue was one of the students awarded a star for her commitment, helpfulness, and improvement throughout the year.

After a lunch/dinner, Sue put away her costume but wasn’t quite ready to give up the crown.

Sue had decided to take the summer off from dance, but now she’s not so sure… Regardless of what she decides about classes, she will be singing and dancing throughout the season as she prepares for the next show at the community theatre–Hello Dolly!

 

The Long Run

Let’s just start with I did it.  I didn’t know if I would be able to, but I did.  Eight days ago I started and completed my second half marathon.

And this weekend I began reading a book about optimal nutrition to lose weight while running long distances and for pre- and post-race.  It makes hubby just chuckle.  I said I would never run another half after the one in September…and I just finished my second and am now studying nutrition for continuing this type of long distance running longer and am already prepping mentally for my third one.

This second half started off really hard.  I accidentally found out most of this half was off-road, which I have only run once ever.

It started off in grass.  With the final pacer asking me in the first half mile if I could run faster because I was not running the required minimum pace.  I bawled like a baby for the next mile until another pacer started running with me and slowly I calmed down.  From there on out the volunteers and people along the way were amazing.

They had water almost every mile.  They even offered beer, mimosas, and bacon at the halfway party point.  I only needed to use the water I brought once toward the end.  They had funny signs, people cheering, and at one of the biggest hills they had people dressed up as superheroes to run up with you–Wonder Woman and the oldest runner guy I have ever seen were on either side of me as I went up the huge, dirt hill at mile 8.  The pacer running with me told me, “this is called the 8-mile holler because you will be hollerin’ by the time you get done!!”

My running companion would go just a bit ahead as we got to the groups of people cheering and tell them my name to people were cheering specifically for me.

Marilyn disappeared for a bit and I was joined by one of the medic guys on a bike.  I don’t know how he went that slowly and kept the bike upright, but he did.  He complimented me on how incredibly consistent my pace was.

I was rejoined by my pacer and the sweeper who swore I was going faster than he at mile 9 so he didn’t force me off the course–and this guy.

I thought he was just a piece of wood as I ran up to him–when I realized he was a turtle of that size–the sweeper took a picture of him for me as I kept moving along.  And slowly mile 11 was done.

I came in dead last, but I did it.  All 13.1 miles of dirt roads, two tracks, and hills, with just a few paved miles in there.  And I did it in just 2 minutes more than my all paved maiden half marathon last September!!!

The sweeper could not believe that I was undertaking this race as my second half marathon.  Turns out it is considered one of the most beautiful and one of the most difficult halfs in the country!!

 

Running with the Girls

Saturday I modified my half marathon training to run a 5k with Caitlyn and Sue.  We ran the Mind Over Matter 5k to raise money and awareness to fight suicide.

It is a lovely course and incredibly important cause.

I was so proud to run with my girls.

We worked hard and all made it to the finish.  This race is one we will always have on the schedule.

Most of the time I run just for me.  Saturday we ran for others.

The Sub Might Take Over

This last year my hubby has taken over teaching science to the girls.  We did some research and he chose a book.  It works out great.  I go running or do errands or…while they cover science.  But a couple times I have been called upon to sub and it is fun.  I think I might take over science for next year.

This morning we learned about low pressure and high pressure in the weather and how it creates the basic building blocks for wind.  For example, the heat of the sun causes low pressure on the beach and the coolness of the ocean, or in our area the Great Lakes,  causes high pressure, which rushes in to even out the pressure in the low area, thus causing wind.

Our experiment involved opening up and emptying a tea bag, lighting it with a match and watching what happens. It was so cool we did it twice.

Up, up, and away!!

Yeah, it was cool…I think the sub will be taking over science class/

 

This Face

I was scrolling through pictures looking for this one

And found this one

She does not look like a happy camper.  It was sometime this weekend and she was irritated.  It looks like it was taken after our 2.5 mile run (guess she didn’t get the runners high?).  I do get tired of seeing her grumpy face, but this one cracked me up.  She came down with a cold last week after finishing up her role in Mary Poppins, but she just keeps going for the most part.

Here are a couple shots of us enjoying a Mommy Daughter date after Mary Poppins and a couple pictures from the show.

She’s a honeybee in the top photo and in the group singing in the second.

Good thing they’re cute, even when they’re mad!!!