I think today we will just feast on the wonderful and lovely that is my oldest daughter, Caitlyn.
I think today we will just feast on the wonderful and lovely that is my oldest daughter, Caitlyn.
Caitlyn and I ran our second 5k together today. Well, not really together–she runs and then I come slowly up from the rear of the crowd…much later after she finishes.
Today’s race was a Turkey Trot. The top finisher in each age bracket won a turkey. Let’s just suffice it to say, I did not win a turkey.
But the weather was pristine. Low sixties, sunshine–amazing.
It was also the hardest I have ever run. The course was all off road. There were hills, so many hills! And for many of them, you were turning in such a way that you were running on the side of the hill instead of in any manner of straight. I almost cried twice, I kid you not, and I wanted to walk so badly, but my primary goal in every 5k I run is to do just that–run every step, and I did it this time too, just barely, but I did. Caitlyn admitted she walked a few times, and honestly, that was probably wise, but I can be pretty stubborn and come heck or high water, I was going to run it all.
I ran step after step and finally, it was done!!! I was once again frustrated with my time, but this race, that was greatly overshadowed by how proud I was to have finished and run the whole thing.
And yes, I came home and started looking for our next race. No matter how hard running is, I just keep going back for more.
Let’s just start off by saying I have no idea how I am going to vote in the upcoming Presidential election. What I do know, is I cannot wait for the political ads and posts on Facebook to be gone.
I may still be struggling about whether or not I am going to vote at all, but that does not mean we have ignored politics in our homeschooling. We have read several biographies, we have done a unit study, we have had many, many conversations about the positives and negatives of the Republican and Democratic candidates, and talked about what an Independent Party/candidate is.
In the unit study Caitlyn and Sue created a newspaper that included articles about the overall election process and who the Presidential Candidates were, a letter to the editor concerning a local issue on the ballot, an overview of the requirements for voting in our state and what the voting process entails, how the candidates differ and how they are similar, an explanation of our two major parties, and an overview of women’s suffrage.
But our elections education has not been purely academic.
The girls’ have each explained, based on their understanding, who they would vote for. I am standing here wracking my brain trying to remember what each of them said about their choice. I know Patrice said she would vote for Hillary Clinton because “she is a girl.” Patrice has also very sweetly asked me to vote for Hillary–“for me, please mommy?” Caitlyn has had several thoughts on the issue, but the one that sticks out to me is she would vote for Hillary Clinton because Donald Trump “is a sore loser” (she has watched portions of each of the debates). Sue said she would vote for Hillary Clinton “because she is a girl and because I don’t think she should be in jail, she was only trying to protect her e-mail and the country.”
I may still be trying to decide what to do when I am standing in front of the ballot Tuesday, but my girls have made up their minds!
Caitlyn has even flexed some of her democratic muscles. The other day, every time someone disagreed with what she was doing or wearing, she declared, “It’s a free country!”
And then tonight the girls capped off their understanding of the election process by spontaneously presenting their own presidential debate. Caitlyn was the moderator, Sue was the Republican Candidate, and Patrice was the Democratic Candidate. They covered issues including homelessness, housing, schools, and what they would do to make America greater. Patrice, on the topic of homelessness, said anybody that “wanted a house can come ask me, and I will put them in a hotel and build them a house.” Sue, concerning schools said, “I will get better teachers and better food because nobody can learn on an empty stomach!” Concerning making America greater Sue said she would stop terrorist attacks while Patrice said she would give money to the homeless.
Our debate even had some “digs” in it as Sue told Patrice her answer was “a great comedy act.” The girls, as you can see, dressed up for the debate–shoes optional, and they had suckers from their Halloween candy.
Of course, after the debate I had to explain to Patrice what a Republican was and what a Democrat was…she’s a 6-year-old work in progress.
I am really pleased with our overall study of Americas’ election process and what the girls have learned. They’ve worked hard to understand the world around them and we’ve had some fun along the way; what more could I ask for?
I started back to running August 16, right after the girls first cross country practice. I watched them out there and just could not resist joining in. I have logged between 6-9 miles a week since then.
I am not fast, my quickest mile in all of that was 13:37, but I am plugging away at about 15;35 on average.
Running is amazing. It is not easy, but it gets easier somewhere late in the first mile.
I have run 5k with Caitlyn several times, as she has joined me on Sunday mornings to do a good run before church several times. And then she joined me to do a 5k a few weeks ago.
This Saturday, we have our second 5k–a Turkey Trot.
But I’ve decided to take it a step further…I would like to run a half marathon, 13.1 miles. And I have someone with experience who is willing to help me figure out how to get there.
One of the moms from cross country has run several half marathons and a couple marathons…and she is willing to lend me her expertise.
Step one: get stronger and lose some more weight over the winter since Michigan isn’t that conducive to much running at that time. My personal plan is to run on the treadmill 3 times a week and do strength work 3 times a week.
Step two: get out there and start running longer stretches when spring finally arrives.
Step three: sign up for, and run a half marathon in October.
That plan ought to get me stronger and thinner in no time, right? It would be awfully nice to finally lose the rest of my baby weight–you know, since the baby is 6 years old and can read, add, and subtract…
Our first year of homeschooling I found so many incredible ideas for hands-on projects and activities. It was fun, if I do say so myself. My second year that dwindled, and last year was dismal. We made it through our daily lessons of bookwork, but there just wasn’t any fun. Last year was survival mode as I battled the bipolar disorder…But this year, this year, offered hope.
Hope, that we could have fun again. That Patrice could enjoy some fo the hands-on activities similar to what we had done in the first year, when she was oblivious.
And I think, we have had more fun. We are getting through material, going on field trips, and enjoying projects. Today, we did two fun projects in art and science.
During art, we made cards for a friend in the hospital.
This afternoon we did a science project learning how plant seeds might travel to other places in the world. We “made” seeds and sent them flying.
The best part was seeing Patrice not only get involved in the activity, but watching the video beforehand, and being able to explain what it was saying, and argue her point, successfully I might add, with her sisters.
Every day has it’s adventures, but today included some intentional fun!
Last night was another great night of Halloween fun. The girls made their costumes earlier in the week, the weather was perfect last night, and there were very few Trick or Treaters, so people were very generous to my girls. Caitlyn and Sue weighed their loot–7 lbs and 6 lbs respectively. Sue’s candy haul weighed more than she did at birth!!
We had so few Trick or Treaters that I put our candy out on the porch and we all went together.
Caitlyn was a jellyfish, Sue was the Ocean Blue, and Patrice was Rapunzel. They put them together all by themselves.
No help from mama.
I remember not too long ago when they needed my help to walk up to the doors, knock, say Trick or Treat, and Thank You. This year I was just a chaperone.
And it made me kind of sad. It was the first year my babies didn’t need me. Okay, not kind of sad. I actually walked from house to house holding back the tears. Hubby says it is because I have done a good job raising them to be creative, confident girls.
“Go Caitlyn Go!!” I have yelled that countless times since August 16 when Caitlyn and Sue started cross country practice.
Caitlyn loved the running, Sue loved the social time.
I ached watching Caitlyn put her heart and soul into the running and see little success. She ran with such determination at every practice, from her very first step to her last. But again and again she was beat by her sister and her teammates. And yet, she never wavered, she never gave up.
She ran at practice, she started running in the mornings with me. I was so, so proud of her every single time. All heart and determination. And right at the end of the season we saw some of her power come out as she plowed through her last meet with just over a 10 minute mile.
While she was running cross country, she also trained with me for a 5k (3.1 miles). Yesterday was the day. We got up before dawn to get a decent breakfast and head on our way.
A couple days before, my sweet girl had asked me if it was okay if she ran ahead of me for the first mile “you’ll catch up to me in mile 2 I’m sure.” Well, she sure did pull ahead of me–and I never saw her again. My Caitlyn finished the race in 34 minutes and 6 seconds. She ran a mile pace of 10 minutes 58 seconds!!! She finished in 2 place of the girls ages 10-13 who ran. I couldn’t be more proud. Honestly, I couldn’t.
She finished WAYYYYY ahead of me yesterday and as I finally ran up to the finish line, I heard a voice yelling, “go MOMMY go!!!!”
I can’t wait to run with her again–and watch out cross country, we’ll be unleashing a powerhouse on you next season!
I found a project on Pinterest and we actually did it!!!
We painted q-tip fall trees 🙂
Three girls. I have three girls. I have no idea how that happened–well, okay, I know HOW it happened, I just can’t believe it did even 10 years into this mom gig. I had given up on marriage and kids, but God had other plans.
I have three girls, I homeschool three girls, they are pretty much my constant side kicks. They see how I handle, and don’t handle, life. I am completely aware their eyes are always on me.
Sometimes, I can handle it with grace, but much of the time I am second guessing how I handle it all. I want my reactions to be balanced and healthy. I am used to finding that difficult with the Bipolar in my life, but recently it has gotten complicated for another reason…sports.
My girls (2 of them anyway) have joined the world of sports–cross country to be exact.
It is the one sport I sort of, not really, know anything about and is truly the only sport I have ever enjoyed. Seeing them get to run at practice reminded me how much I love to run and has me back out there pounding out a few miles. I love having them run.
One, is a little older than the other, a little more serious about life, and a little more interested in running.
She even joined me on my Sunday morning run last week.
I am so proud.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Sue is also going to practice, never complains about it, and seems to have fun, but she just hasn’t caught the running bug. She’s there for the socializing; Caitlyn says, “I want to run, that’s what I am there for!!!”
I am so pleased with both of them, but I want to just gush all over Caitlyn. I love her can do spirit, she never gives up, I love her desire to run, I love her determination. I like to talk to her about running. I am seeking out help from others who run to help Caitlyn become a stronger runner. I’m not kidding, I could go on forever about how proud I am of Caitlyns’ running.
But I don’t want to discourage Sue. I want her to grow to love it, if it turns out to be her thing. I want her to work hard. I want her to know I care about her skills too.
Balancing the two is hard!!!
How do I encourage them both when their experiences so far are very different? How do I let Caitlyn know how pleased I am without seeming to diminish Sue’s progress? How do I show my pride in Caitlyn, without making Sue feel like she has to prove herself to me by running?
I sincerely don’t know how to balance it all. I catch myself when I feel like I am going overboard. I try to remember to speak highly of both of them within their hearing.
I try. I really do.
As I have mentioned a million times, I love running. I had to give it up for a while due to foot issues, but that didn’t change my love. I am done with physical therapy and was given the go ahead to start running again…slowly. I told the therapist, “at 41 the only running I do is slow” but I knew what she meant and actually got scared about starting and hurting my feet again.
Then, a fellow homeschooler found a cross country team for homeschooled kids starting at Caitlyn and Sue’s ages. I could not wait to get home and sign them up. I know other parents say they don’t want to push their kids, but I will fully admit, I am being pushy when it comes to running.
I had no athletic abilities whatsoever growing up. T-Ball was a bust, ping pong and volleyball were a disaster. I had nothing. And it it was hard. I watched other kids get acceptance and acclaim from sports, but it never happened for me. Ever. As much as we say brains are more important, or at least as important, they aren’t, not when it comes to approval.
I never found anything I could do until my 30s when I started running with Wii Fit and then decided to try running for real outside, and I could do it!! Now, I don’t set any records, but each running goal I have set for myself I have reached, except the half marathon, I am still reaching for that. And the runners high–I fell in love with it early on.
Call me selfish, I want running for my girls. Jr. High, er Middle School and High School would have been so much more bearable if I had running. I want that for them, I do. Yes, I understand, they may find another sport that suits them better, but for now, I want to give them a place to start, something they can enjoy, something they can excel at no matter what.
I want that for them.