Friday, November 30, 2007

Project 365: November 30

It's time to put away the fall decorations and artwork and start getting the Christmas boxes unpacked. I had to post this project before the month ended - I just love that Will is thankful for cottage cheese!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Project 365: November 29

The assignment:

You have two unmarked containers - one that holds three liters and one that holds eight - and a faucet. Your job is to measure precisely 4 liters.

Katherine enjoyed the hands-on aspect of this problem of the week. She figured it out, but said later that someone else got it a different way.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Project 365: November 28

Church Trees

We had our Hanging of the Green service tonight. Everyone took part in either decorating the sanctuary or the various trees in the building! Everyone expects the traditional Crismon tree. Here's Granddaddy hanging one the many ornaments that go on this tree that stands in our sanctuary every year.
Then there's the tree in the lobby just outside the church office. This tree holds a great many ornaments that have been handmade by the children in the church over the years.

Then there's the tree in the preschool department. The little ones took turns placing the ornaments on the tree and have taken great delight in seeing the lights come on.

Then, of course, there's the tree in the Children's Department, mostly decorated by adults while the children made snowflakes and ate gross blue candy canes!

And then...last, but not least...the youth department coat tree.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Project 365: November 27

The jackets are finally in, and they are so cool! Definitely worth the wait!


Quilting #2

In between homework assignments today, the girls and I cut out the fabric for their quilt project. Once we had it all laid out, Katherine looked at it sideways and noted that it wasn't even crib-sized. Yikes! She was right, it needed to be wider and longer, especially since we would be losing some of our size to seams.

So, later in the evening, while dodging cat and dog, we laid the pieces out again - three times. We finally decided that we needed to add another fabric (stars!) to make the overall pattern work. What do you think?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Project 365: November 26

These are just some of Will's pennies.

He got them down "all by myself," and started counting them with great purpose. His goal was to be able to buy a new tractor from the Tractor Supply Store.

Not a real one, just a small toy. Gabe's mom, who along with Carter's mom, has introduced my boy to buying things in stores, bought Will a tractor today. He had great fun until he lost the trailer part in the back of her truck.

The boy was despondent! Totally. He wailed all the way home - from town! That's a long wail people!

So, when the boy said he wanted me to buy him another tractor, I said I wouldn't and that if he wanted one he could count his pennies and buy himself another tractor. So that's what he did - the counting part anyway. Gabe's mom found the trailer and all is well here now.

The Real Pictures

Here we are (I'm revisiting I know) in the middle of our respective runs. I think they caught me around the 4-mile point, and David around the 10...not sure about that. He sure does look like he's working a lot harder than I was!

Wherever we were when those were taken doesn't really matter. I do know that when this third picture was taken we were done, finished, been there, done that, getting ready for the next one.

We do look kind of happy with ourselves don't we?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Project 365: November 25

Mashed Potatoes!

You Are Mashed Potatoes

Ordinary, comforting, and more than a little predictable.
You're the glue that holds everyone together.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Project 365: November 24

Make It Stop

The itch is back! Each and every inch of my skin is taking a turn at itching.

The last time this happened it was an allergic reaction to that ever-popular yellow alternative to the pink and blue sweeteners, complete with itching and hives. That's pretty easy to deal with, just stop using the product, and avoid every 3rd item in the grocery store.

Easy enough, except when someone makes something really tasty looking and I find I have absolutely no willpower at all to avoid it. Then I pay for the rest of the day. It's a calculated risk though, and I know what's coming.

This new itching, I have no idea of the cause. I just know it's got to stop soon.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Project 365: November 23

While the kids were outside they had a great game going on in and around the treehouse. They came in for food, and for extra blankets and mittens. They came in for warmth. Once they found out I wasn't going to let them stay inside they stopped coming in.

But they didn't stop calling. Morgan had her phone out there. She called at one point to see if David would light a fire - tell him it's so cold out here! Then she called to see if we had any hot dogs. We had three. That's it.

So they had an appetizer of three flame-cooked hotdogs before coming inside for leftover turkey dinner, and new noodles (made for Will because all he ate of our Thanksgiving dinner was rolls with butter!).

Sorting Coins

The kids spent most of today outside, yet every once in a while they'd come inside in search of warmth. I'd offer hot chocolate and a job. Sometimes they were so cold they'd actually choose to do the job!

The job of choice was sorting coins.

Morgan decided she was like the machine at the grocery store and should get a percentage of the amount rolled. She needn't have worried about that. First, my answer was no! Second, they never actually got the coins rolled!

They all lost interest when their hot chocolate was gone and when they found out that David had added rings and things to the treehouse. They all just had to go try everything out!

Christmas Parade

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Project 365: November 22

We finished our meal with an assortment of pumpkin treats.

Will and Katherine and I made pumpkin pies this morning - no big deal really. It didn't even involve cutting up a real pumpkin and certainly wasn't a very messy endeavor, except when the whisk started going wild on us (under Will's power!).

The real pumpkin treats came from Earlysville with Carolyn and Bill! They brought pumpkin cake and pumpkin ice cream, made from a real pumpkin that had done its time on their front porch! The frozen pumpkin ice cream pie stayed home because it wasn't cooperating and wasn't going to look pretty on the dessert plates. Bill was happy about that and said he'd gladly have Carolyn make that ice cream pie again!

Turkey Day Faces

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Project 365: November 21

Since we're finally able to have outdoor fires, David and the kids spent the day moving mounds of leaves to the fire circle. There's no way they'll ever turn them all into ashes but they sure had good fun trying!

We were hoping for a cookout dinner but opted instead for eating inside and getting a few more leaves out of our yard!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Project 365: November 20

Quilters In Training

These girls spent their evening picking out fabric and planning a baby quilt for a soon-to-be born little boy. The fabric they chose includes frogs, trucks, pooh bear, and dinosaurs! It should be really stimulating! Just the thing a new mom needs for her baby!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Project 365: November 19

At this point we can just about hold our breath and wait until we get eat all those delicious Thanksgiving goodies!

This year we're in charge of Wild Rice & Dried Cherry Salad, Corn Pudding, and the Pumpkin Pies!

With all that food available, Will is still probably not going to eat anything except rolls and butter. That, of course, will make most of the rest of us so very happy - there'll be more mashed potatoes for us, more stuffing for us, and more everything for us!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Project 365: November 18


Some school fundraisers make it really easy to support one school program while showing appreciation for others. This year Morgan's band sold Virginia peanuts and other yummy things. While I'm totally fundraisered out I thought these were a great idea for the people without whom our lives would be nutty.

Just a little something to say thanks.

Project 365: November 17

Friday, November 16, 2007

Project 365: November 16

Is it that time already?

Will and Katherine and I visited the downtown mall this afternoon - just in time to watch the mallkeepers begin hanging Christmas decorations.

It seems a little soon, but I guess with Advent starting this Sunday we'd better get ready! Christmas will be here before we know it.

How ready are you?

Fancy Horses

We took the kids to see the Lipizzaner Stallions tonight. They were amazing! I saw them when I was Morgan's age and was very excited to see that they were coming to town.

Not having remembered any of the history of the stallions, I found it all fascinating this time around.

I can't even begin to explain how beautiful the horses were...and how well they had learned their routines and listened to their riders.

Can you see where I'm going with this?

I'm wondering if they have a program for 4-year-olds!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Project 365: November 15

These 4th graders are about to be set loose with pencil and paper to make a wish list of desired books!

All of the classes visit the fair and the kids have 15 minutes to peruse the shelves for new favorite choices. Even Will came home with a nine-item wish list! Katherine had a more manageable list of only 4 items. The best part, besides getting new books, is that the school gets 25% of the profits.

At some point, I think Scholastic has to run out of books that we don't already have!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Project 365: November 14

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Project 365: November 13

Monday, November 12, 2007

Project 365: November 12

Poor Gracie got put into time-out for her non-stop barking at Charley.

Will must have felt sorry for Gracie because all of the sudden there was this visitor in front of her kennel.

Then, along came Charley to torment Gracie further!

Poor Gracie!

Project 365: November 11

So Much Better!

This year's race was so much better!

My only real complaint last year was the weather - something no one could anything about. Still, I really did not want a repeat of that experience. Last year's race was a huge mental trial for me. I used every bit of positive talk and spiritual encouragement, and it got me through.

Lucky me. This year the weather cooperated. It was frigid at 5:30 when we headed for our shuttles and at 6:30 when we took off the outer layers that would not be joining us on our runs. (UPS collects dry bags before the race so we'll have dry clothes to change into at the finish - a great idea, and a wonderful service. They'll even mail them to you if you forget to pick your clothes up!) It was still cold when we lined up to start the race.

I kept a large t-shirt on over my singlet and long sleeved top. I knew I wouldn't keep it on for long but I needed that extra layer of perceived warmth. I settled myself in the last corral (12+ minutes/mile), just as I did last year, knowing I (again) hadn't trained properly for this race. Because we were the 4th or 5th corral they started us about 9 minutes after the first corral. I guess they do that for crowd control, but I'm not sure about that. Anyway, since I don't wear a watch when I run, and there were no clocks on the course, I never really had a good idea of how fast/slow I was going. At one point, judging by the time of day, I thought I was going slower than last year. I was fine with that.

I warmed up and tossed the t-shirt into a pile of others at the 1 mile marker, and ran on. I wore my gloves until mile 4, but kept them with me until mile 5 and 8, where I left them in places where I thought David would see them, signs to him that I was thinking of him during the toughest parts of his race.

I never had thoughts of not making the distance. I felt good, better than I should have, I'm sure. I kept a quick, short step rather than a longer stride, to put less stress on my shins and knees. My knees were fine for most of the race. I saw the bridge, the crest of which this year was the 10-mile mark, and almost shouted for joy. The bridge is a climb, but, being a hill, is the best part of the race. All you have to do is get to the top and you've got only 3.1 miles to go. That's a 5K. You can walk that far!

And I did do quite a bit of walking from the bridge on. My left knee was shot so I would run for a few minutes and then walk, then run again. Gearing up to run again was hard, and every time I did, I'd give a little yelp, and the people around me would stare.

My only real goal for the race, other than to keep from getting too cold, was to try to be on the downside of the bridge before the first marathoner passed by. That was it.

I reached the top of the bridge, then the bottom, then the next mile beyond, and turned the corner. Still no marathoner in sight. I was just about 1/2 mile from the finish when the winner passed by, and another minute or so later the second marathoner ran by.

I thought they must have run an awfully slow race to have passed me that late in the race! As it turned out, I ran a faster race!

Last year I ran 2:53:48 and this year 2:41:03!

My Husband, The Marathoner

We didn't sleep well at all. There's always a fear, no matter how many clocks are set, of oversleeping and missing your race. We got up at 4, showered (!), and dressed for the race. It's hard at 4:30 to know what you'll need to be wearing at 7. Here's David as he's about to get on the shuttle to the marathon start. This is where we said goodbye. It was lonely for the next hour plus. Last year we had each other to talk to and to keep each other warm. This year I had to talk to strangers and wrap up in last year's silly looking blanket!

At this point I had finished my race, changed my clothes, watched some runners finish their races, and walked about a 1/2 mile back onto the course to cheer for David.

I can't even express the excitement I felt when I thought I saw him coming. A marathon is huge. It takes a lot of guts to sign up for one, an incredible amount of time to train for one, and everything you have to finish one. So, I thought I saw him (white shirt, blue shorts, running shoes!), but no, this guy was wearing a hat - he'd said he wasn't going to wear his hat. I suggested that he take it anyway -just in case. I guess it was an in case kind of day, because it was him and he looked good! In fact, he looked great! I called to him and asked how he was - "I can't talk," he said! I laughed. I knew exactly how he felt!

Of course, then he kept running, and I couldn't run another step. My knees had given all they could during my race. So I hobbled as fast as I could that 1/2 mile back to the finish, missing his first marathon finish, but catching him soon after!

His goal was to break five hours, or 4:45. He said his uber goal was to beat 4:30.

So, this first-time marathoner crossed the line at 4:32:20! Awesome!

He looks happy doesn't he?! If he'd been able to climb the stairs he'd be shouting from the rooftops!