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Monday, April 30, 2012

Art show and science fair

After a wonderful day of running around with The Dude and Daniel, I went to the girls' art show and science fair at their school. The Dude graciously offered to watch Alex and Daniel for me so that I could go alone, which was wonderful and gave me time to look around at all of the exhibits without having to chase kids the whole time.

Emily's projects.....

And Sarah's.....

And probably one of my favorite projects for the science fair.....and no, it was not the only gun-related one, either!

But for now, I'm going to kick back and watch the storms roll through the area, and see if anything significant happens. It looked uglier earlier, but I think it's going to blow around us like it usually does!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

And the results are in....

We woke up this morning to a horrendous thunderstorm - as in *something* in our neighborhood got hit by lightning, and the thunderclap about knocked us out of bed. I checked the radar, and it was ugly. I was getting worried about whether or not there was even going to be a race, but as I checked the website, they were determined to continue. We got ready and took off to Wichita, running a bit behind. We got to the start line about 15 minutes before the race began - and it was raining.

The Dude and the boys hung out at the start line until we took off, and then he took them out to breakfast. The original plan was to let them play on the playground near the start/finish line, but well, the rain killed that one.

It rained for probably the first 7-8 miles - and it wasn't always a nice gentle rain, either. There were some out-and-out downpours, and I ran through ankle-deep water more than once on the route. I ended up having to take my glasses off and jammed them into my shirt because of the rain, so I was literally running blindly for a while. The rain finally stopped around mile 9ish, which is about when I started to lose my steam. My body has never been one to handle bad weather, so I was miserable by the end.

Anyway, here are the pictures....

I was exhausted at the end. Completely and totally exhausted. And so sore. My hips were killing me, my ankles were sore, and my underarms were rubbed raw. My feet were starting to cramp so the boys helped me to get my wet shoes and socks off of my feet so that I could walk around barefoot for a while, and The Dude went and got the van so that I wouldn't have to walk too far. Of course, since I was soaked to the bone (even my underwear was wet) I was cold, and the only dry thing that we had in the van was his jacket. His Cowboys jacket. I had to swallow my pride and cover myself with it for the ride home, and of course he was loving every single second of it. Jerk. :P

And of course, the medal that all participants received. It's pretty cool this year - has kind of a stained glass effect to it.

So anyway....I guess you want the results. I had a few goals when I started:

(1.) Finish vertically and not in a body bag.
(2.) Beat my time from last year, which was 3:12:32.
(3.) Finish in under 3 hours.

Obviously, I met Goal #1, and I finished.
I met Goal #2 with a final time of 3:12:05 - I beat last year's time by 27 seconds.
I didn't meet Goal #3.

When I first started out, I was doing really well - but the weather really created problems for me, and honestly, at one point I wasn't sure that I could even finish. So, while I'm somewhat disappointed that I didn't improve more, I'm still happy with the results.

I have to give a very special shout-out to The Dude. He has been so wonderful to me throughout all of this - from putting up with me going out to run instead of spending time with him, to getting up in the wee hours of the morning to go with me to races, to watching the kids while I run, to giving me pep talks and constantly supporting and encouraging me - I just can't thank him enough. I'm not sure how I got so lucky, but I'm going to enjoy it and not question it. Thanks, babe, and I love you!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

JDRF walk and a really ugly shirt.

So today was the JDRF walk - just going to slap some pictures up of that....the kids opted not to walk, and instead hung out on the big playground with The Dude while I walked with my team.

Daniel and The Dude heading for the playground

My teammates

The mayor of Wichita

Me and the ________ - whatever he is. Wichita State University's mascot

Dave and the _______


Quick lunch at Subway after

*sigh* I can't take him in public.....

After lunch, we dropped The Dude back off at his friend's house and then we ran back into Wichita to pick up my race packet for tomorrow and then we came home. I performed some semi-major surgery on the vacuum to get it working again, and then did some cleaning and stuff before I ran some errands and dropped the older 2 off with their father (Emily was spending the weekend with a friend).

The Dude is staying here tonight so that he can go with me to the race tomorrow to act as photographer and kid wrangler - but right now, he is in the kitchen making us something to eat. :)

And finally....my oh-so-festive shirt for tomorrow. Man, this thing is ugly, and the picture doesn't even do the color justice. I like the gray one from last year so much better. But, it is what it is, and I will wear it with pride....or anytime I feel like looking like a pile of rotten mustard.

The race is about 9 hours away, and I'm already a bundle of nerves. I know that I didn't prepare nearly enough, but I'm going to give it my best shot and see what happens. I did it last year in 3:12:32 (I think) and I'm hoping to do it in under 3 hours this time - but I'll be happy to finish regardless.

So, keep an eye on my facebook page throughout the day for updates....and I'll post pictures after we get home!

Friday, April 27, 2012

What should I write about?

I've been sitting here all night, chatting with friends and trying to figure out what to write about. I get bored just saying "we did this and this and this blah blah blah today" and I know that it has to get boring to read. So I posted a question on my facebook page and asked what I should write about and got several suggestions. So, I'm going to attempt to combine all of them.....

This could be interesting....

The first suggestion was from One Tired Mama, who said that I should write about what I'm thankful for - and that's really an easy one, but it's something that we all take for granted.

I am so incredibly thankful for my kids. Of course, they aggravate and annoy me on a daily basis - poopy pants from kids who are old enough to know better, jumping on beds, refusing to eat supper, arguing, bickering, and the like all get old very quickly. But at the same time, the hugs and kisses and love that I get from them make it all worthwhile. They really are great kids, and they've all been through a lot in their short lives, but I think that they are all coming through it alright. We still have our issues, and we always will, but we are a family and we love each other regardless of the crappy days.

I am thankful for my friends and family who have supported me over the years. I know that I put some of them through hell with my whining and complaining when things were rough - but they stuck by me and showed me how much they love and care about me, and for that I can never thank them enough.

I am thankful that right now I am financially secure enough to be a stay-at-home mom and to keep a roof over our heads and dependable wheels under our butts to get us to where we need to go at a moment's notice. I know that we can make ends meet, even if it is tight at times. And because of that, I can focus on the kids and what they need.

But I think right now, I am most thankful for The Dude. He has put up with a lot of crap from me since we started dating. He has dealt with my mood swings and my stressed-out frazzled crazy self, he has held me while I've cried, he has celebrated the good times, and he has shown me so much love and support that I never even imagined was possible. He is truly an amazing guy, and I have learned so much about myself simply by being with him. I now know that no matter how much I might have tried to fight it, it is possible for me to love and be loved again. And yes, in case there was any doubt from anyone, I LOVE HIM.

There....see? I used the L-word!

Now, back to that status on my facebook page...

While my neighbor does have a dog, she's a good dog, and she doesn't bark much unless there's something to bark about (usually). She does alert me if there's something going on, but for the most part she's quiet. So I really can't complain about barking dogs....

And as for butt plugs....I have to say that I will leave that one up to the experts, as I have no experience in that department. However, I will admit that I have been tempted to jam a cork into a few butts around this house - it might cut down on the amount of laundry that I have to do, but at the same time, it could increase the amount of paperwork that I would need to do once the State found out about it and took my kids from me.

My favorite "go-to dinners" was another suggestion. That one's actually a tough one, because I can't get all of my kids to agree on ANYTHING for supper. However, the 2 youngest will always eat macaroni and cheese (barf) or peanut butter and jelly. Generally, anything kid-friendly will work in a pinch....pizza is always good. Or stromboli, but that takes some planning since the dough has to thaw out for a few hours before I can make it. They like hamburger helper (barf) too. And sometimes spaghetti. And there's always the good ol' standby - anything from any fast food restaurant (which I've been trying to avoid lately).

And last but not least....how am I feeling about my walk tomorrow and the half-marathon on Sunday. Well, I'm not worried about the walk tomorrow, since it's just a walk. The Dude is spending the night tonight at a friend's house so that he can watch the NFL draft stuff, so we are picking him up on the way to the walk and taking him with us. It's an easy, untimed walk around one of the parks in Wichita so it'll be fun and it's for a great cause. While I am relieved that I don't have to wear Cowboys crap for it, I am disappointed that I didn't meet my challenge of raising $250 for it. There's always next year though....

Now the half-marathon on Sunday - yeah, I'm worried about that one. I did it last year in 3:12:32 and I would love to beat that time this year. Actually, I would love to do it in under 3 hours. But, I feel totally unprepared, and I'm just not sure that I can do it. I'm going to give it my all though - I have The Dude's mp3 player to keep my mind occupied, and I found my watch that I can use to keep my pace, so as long as I can stay focused and I don't hurt too much, I can do it. I know that I can finish it - I'm just worried about my time. But just like life, I will get through it one step at a time.

So there you go - a blog post brought to you by the wonderful friendly folks who follow me on facebook!

Kansas City, Round 2

Yesterday was such a busy day! It started with the usual - get all 5 up, dressed, and fed - and I even managed to get a shower before we bolted out the door at 7:10. We stopped to get gas and suddenly I remembered that I had an appointment to get the oil changed in the van too. So I dropped the older 3 kids off at their school, ran to a friend's to pick her up because she needed a ride back into town, dropped Alex off at his school, and then went and got the oil changed.

Luckily, they do a 25-point inspection when they change the oil, and while they noted a few things that need attention, nothing is earth-shattering or needs to be done immediately. But, we have a few things that we should do to it before we go on TMOART:2012. After the oil change, I dropped my friend off at her appointment and then came home. I worked on laundry and cleaning (imagine that) until it was time to take Daniel to school.

After I dropped him at school, I ran over to The Dude's house to drop off the boys' booster seats and to spend a few minutes with him before I took off to KC again. I hit the road again at about 1:00, planning on getting to the airport at 4:00.

With her in my possession and that part of the mission accomplished, we headed back home. We stopped just outside of KC for me to get something to eat (yeah, I forgot to eat for most of the day again) and then we continued on our merry little way. We stopped at one point to take pictures - I see this little building every time I go this direction but this is the first time I've ever stopped. I always thought that it was a church, but I believe now that it was a school.

So anyway, we got back here around 7:30 or so - there was NO traffic around KC, which just amazed me, but I wasn't complaining. By the time we got back I had a huge knot in my back -luckily The Dude had already gotten the boys fed and changed into pajamas, so he chased them into bed and then got me into bed with my heating pad and some ibuprofen, and I crashed. Hard. I didn't really realize how tired I was until I slept for close to 11 hours straight!

Today isn't quite so crazy - I'll have 4 out of the 5 kids tonight (Emily is spending the weekend with a friend) and I don't *think* we have any plans. Tomorrow we are getting up early for the diabetes walk - in case you missed it, if I get a minimum of $250 donated by midnight tonight, I will do the walk fully dressed in Dallas Cowboys attire *gag*. And I will post pictures - but you have to hurry and donate today!

And then of course, Sunday is the half-marathon.

I'm looking forward to relaxing on Sunday afternoon.....

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Random pictures

It was another busy day. Besides running kids back and forth to school, I went over to The Dude's for the afternoon to help him get some things done. I changed a couple of burned out taillights on our vans and mowed the grass while he worked on getting my weedeater started and worked on his other car for a while. We got a lot accomplished, but boy do my arms feel like rubber now! The older 3 kids came home and left for church and came back again, and for once there was very little drama in the Wednesday evening category. This is their last week of Wednesday night church, so things will finally calm down a bit now.

I went through my phone and dumped a ton of pictures last night, and so I thought that I would just post them since they didn't really fit in with any blog posts (or, I forgot to post them).

Who needs a pillow when The Dude is nearby?

I don't feel so bad about the condition of my van now.

The boy loves to wear glasses.

For those who worry about me forgetting to take out my trash....I now have assistance with that (and he's going to kill me for posting this here).

Lessons in shoe tying :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

KC road trip

So after getting about an hour's worth of sleep last night, my friend and I got up at about 1:30 this morning so that I could get her to the airport in Kansas City. We got on the road just before 2:30am (and after putting $78 in the gas tank) for the 3 hour drive. I got her to the airport at about 5:30 and turned around to come straight back home. The Dude stayed here so that he could take Alex to school this morning, and then when I got back into town I met him and Daniel at his house for a few minutes before we came back home and I crashed. Hard. I slept until about noon, and then we took Daniel to school, grabbed some food, hung out a bit more, and then I got the boys from school and came home to make supper for us and The Dude's family. It was a good day - but a very very long one, and I am beat.

Of course, it was pitch black when we left and when we got to the airport, so we only took the obligatory pictures while she and I were together...

The sun started coming up as I was driving back home, but luckily it was behind me so I wasn't being blinded - the first two I actually took in my side mirror, and the third one is (obviously) in my rearview mirror.

I did end up having to stop at a truck stop on the way back to stretch my legs and get some much-needed munchies - but I did manage to do the entire trip without caffeine! I'm always amazed at the things you can find at a truck stop though.

Some of the Kansas countryside is actually quite pretty....

Not bad for a quick trip - and I get to do it again on Thursday to pick her up from the airport, but at least that one will be in the daylight! But, we'll also have to deal with rush hour in KC - that could be interesting! (Yes, I know I need to clean the dust off of my dashboard.)

Love road trips!!!