Sunday, August 31, 2008

Symphony under the Stars

He sorta looks tired, doesn't he? It's like he ran 13.1 miles earlier today or something!! :) After we all had a 3 hour nap on Sunday afternoon, we ate dinner and then headed to the park for a concert & fireworks!! The VA Symphony played a wonderful concert (Latin-themed, dancing music!!!), and then it was followed by fireworks. What a perfect end to a fabulous day!!
I love this man!! Big time!
Callie and the boys loved just running around and playing in the grass...(well, and Callie pointed out EVERY dog that was there...she LOVES dogs!)

The fireworks were GREAT!

Race Day!!!

Here's David with his pacer tattoo on (they are the coolest - it tells you what your time should be if you are on pace at each mile) - look how excited he was at 4:30 AM!!!
Only David could see someone he knows in line at the port-o-potty. He saw one of his former students. (This was before we rode the shuttle from the Ampitheatre down to the Beach - they had a GREAT system set up for us...and of course the boys were thrilled to ride a bus!)
All the kids were dressed in orange that day...I was a bit nervous about losing someone in the crowds of 60,000 people, but we all stayed together!
Best thing I ever did was buy David this green shirt & shorts - it made it SO much easier to find him in the crowds!
We dropped him off at the port-o-potty line at the start and we headed off to wait for him at Mile Marker 1!!
This is the band that David sang with last year. (Because this was the Rock & Roll Half Marathon, they have bands that play at every mile along the course) They sang at the race last year, and David said "Maybe next year I'll actually RUN in it"...and he did!!! He said he waved at them when he ran past them and they got a kick out of that!
Here's our cheering section - camped out and waiting for Daddy!

Here was our first sighting of David at Mile 1! He was SO happy - we were SO happy to see him and cheer him on!
Look how fast he ran past us! :)
Then it was off to Mile 11. Unfortunately, we had a LONG stretch where we couldn't see him because the runners went down a long straightaway. It ended up working out well -the plan we had, because we were able to see him 4 times. But this meant that between Miles 1 & 11, we had a LONG time of sitting and waiting. The boys entertained themselves with their transformers and the bushes!
Callie played with the thundersticks (and she actually liked clapping for the other runners with me).
Josiah was about over it at this point...they DID get up at 5AM after all!

FINALLY - we see Daddy again! This was at Mile 11 and he was still going strong!! Hooray David - I was SO relieved to see him still doing well!! They had just crossed over a bridge, so I kept telling all the runners "the worst is over!!!"
We hopped over 1 street and waited to see David come around the turn at Mile 12 - he knew the finish was not far away now!!!
Sorry this picture is dark. This is right at Mile 13 - just a little bit more to the finish line!!!
There's the smile!! Almost there honey!!!
Racing to the finish...finally!!

And here he is - the half-marathon FINISHER!!! He finished is 2:03 (yes, that's two HOURS, three minutes!!!) He did AWESOME! Finished in the top 20% of all finishers, and top 30% of men (he's a math teacher, so of course he had to find out those percentages)
And here's the excited cheerleader/photographer!! I don't even remember him taking this picture afterwards...but it was probably when I said something about "you know, you're not even going to realize I was there because there's no pictures of me!!"
We went to Chili's afterwards for the celebratory lunch!

It was an amazing day. Everything went so well. It was an early morning, because we were up at 4:30 AM, but it was GREAT! So much fun. I'll admit, I was a little stressed out being on the "other" side, but it worked out! We were able to see David an amazing 4 times, which was AWESOME! He ran so well, felt so good, had such a great time - it was just wonderful. He got lots of goodies at the finish line (even a popsicle...I was so jealous), and the kids loved all the cheering and the hoopla. I was so proud of him for this HUGE accomplishment. It's amazing what you can do when you just put your mind to it. Yes, it took a lot of discipline, and a lot of sacrifice, but totally worth it! So 2008 has been quite a year so far - both of us completing our first half-marathons! I wonder what's next? Who knows, but right now we're celebrating David and his accomplishment!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Expo!

Bright and early this morning (Saturday), we headed off to the Expo for the Half Marathon. These are SO fun! They have a million vendors set up with free samples of different things, lots of run running stuff, people from other races across the country - it's just so fun!! We ALL love to go!
Here's David in line to get his official race packet!
His number is actually 13292 - his timing chip was covering the "1". There are more than 25,000 runners signed up for this race!!!
Here's David reading the VERY important poster about the timing chip that will go on his shoe. (For those of you that recall the 8K that he and I ran for CHKD in June, I screwed him up with bad information about his timing he was sure to read this sign!)
The official Rock & Roll Half Marathon t-shirt for participants (can you tell he's getting a WEE bit embarrassed of me taking all these pictures?)
Saturn is a sponsor of the race, and they had these cars set up all over the convention center. This was one the official race car - how cool is it? Jacob wanted to get in all the cars!

Cytomax is the drink (it's like Gatorade) that will be served on the course along with the water stops. Callie thought it looked tasty too!
Here are the boys making their signs...I have a picture like this from my race too - them sprawled out all over the floor...oblivious to the thousands of people walking around them! :)
Jacob drew "THE race" on his sign, with dots all over it ("Daddy has to watch out for these dots when he runs"), and Josiah wrote "Go Dad. I (heart) you." They love making these signs! They also got (from vendors) cowbells, clappers, and thundersticks, so we are SET in the cheering department!
This one's for you Mandy!! Geico is another favorite sponsor for my boys - they always have a little game for the kids to win something. Jacob won a flashlight, and Josiah won this cool gecko hat!

Here he is!!! A soon-to-be 13.1 mile finisher!!! He's excited and so ready! We drove the course after the Expo and it brought back so many memories for me. It's a bit nervewrecking to be on the other side actually...a lot of pressure on the cheerleader! I'll have all the kids with me tomorrow, so I'm just praying that we'll be able to get where we need to be, and see David as planned (without losing anyone!) They're all sleeping in their clothes tonight (everyone is wearing orange so I can see them easily), since we'll be leaving the house tomorrow at about 5 am. Race starts at 7 am, and he's hoping to be done around 9 am. We'll keep you posted! You can do it David!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008


Here's a few random pictures from the week...

Ignore the fact that she is ON the table....guess who loves ranch dip!!!

Anderson got to come over and spend the night with us on Thursday night. His little brother Carter had his tubes put in this morning (Friday), so Anderson got to have his first non-family sleepover! He did great and the boys loved it! :)

What a week it's been! Josiah really enjoyed his first week of school. I like that it was a FULL week - regular schedule and everything. He was able to go to all of his specials this week (music, PE, art, etc) and really get a feel for what a full week feels like. All 3 of my kids are tired though - I underestimated how tired Jacob & Callie would be from taking their naps later than they are used to. But all in all, it's been a great transition.

After a week of cooler temps and scattered rain, today is a hot one! Hot and humid! As soon as we picked up Josiah, we headed straight for the pool for a few hours. It was a very fun treat and we enjoyed it. We're thankful our pools are open year-round, eve though hours will change next week once public schools are back in session. So we aren't done swimming yet!

I've been glued to Fox News all afternoon with the VP announcement of Gov. Palin. I won't politicize very much, but I am thrilled to see the choice of such an exciting, conservative, young mother!! It's going to be a very interesting campaign for the next few months!!!

And today begins Race Weekend for David! He had his last run last night before the half-marathon on Sunday. We're going down to the beach tonight to go to the Expo and pick up his packet. We'll be making some cheer signs while we're there (of course) -it's going to be very exciting! Tomorrow, he has big plans to sleep in and then carb-load for dinner!!! We'll keep everyone posted, of course!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"I Love School!"

...This is what Josiah said to me this morning. He had asked if he could help pack his snack, and as he was getting it in his lunchbox, he said to me "I love school!" He's had a good week. Today was the first day that someone lost a bear on the discipline board, and of course Josiah was telling me all about it. His teacher told me today at pick up that Josiah has been wonderful and is a very good example and leader to the other kids. Hoorah!! I'm very proud of him for how well he is making the adjustment. Other than being tired (and I think not WANTING to be tired), he's done great.

We are getting adjusted to the schedule as well. Today felt very good...almost normal! We had a surprise visit from Sandi and her girls. And it was strange to think that for ONCE, there were more boys than girls! For the longest time, Merideth was the ONLY girl. Then Callie arrived, and of course now Baby Morgan is here. But with our big boys in school, it was lots of girls!

We picked up our storytime schedule yesterday from the library, and I met with my biblestudy leaders last night, so the fall is shaping up!! Hooray!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Day 2 - GREAT!

It was another great day today. I had this fear late last night that maybe, all of a sudden, Josiah wouldn't want to go back! But he was just as excited this morning, looked just as cute in his uniform, and did great! He walked right in his room, hung his stuff up, and went right to his table! The best part though was that as we were walking through the parking lot and into school, he was pointing out to me all the kids that he recognized from his class! That was fun for me to see him starting to point out his new "friends". He was very excited that he had more papers to bring home and show me. He's probably the only kid that's really anxious to get the REAL work started - he's ready to move past all this boring, basic assessment stuff! I'm so proud of him.

The other kids and I had a fun morning at a new playground. The weather was SO mild - it was only in the 70s and breezy, so we spent the morning playing outside. It felt SO great! Oh - Josiah made one comment to me this morning. Jacob had asked if we were going to the playground today, and I told him I wasn't sure exactly what our morning was going to entail. Josiah then said "Mom, save all your fun ideas for when I come home, okay? I want to do them too!" Oh, my sweet little quality time boy! This is going to be the hard part for me. Trying not to feel guilty about him "missing out" on things that I'll do in the morning with the other two. That will be an adjustment!! We'll get there though!

Monday, August 25, 2008

So How Did It Go?

Here are the silly boys!!! Jacob and I made heart-shaped brownies for our first-day-of-school boys! (Jenny - I used my "You are Loved" plate that your mom gave us when we got married...I always pull it out for birthdays and special it!)

Well, it went great!!! After checking my watch all morning to make sure I wasn't the LAST mom at pickup today, we headed over to pick Josiah up. Jacob was definitely excited! (Although he had been asking for lunch for 30 minutes, and Callie had retrieved her blanket from her room, indicating that she was READY for naptime - this is going to be part of the adjustment process...) I picked up a very happy and smiling boy! Mrs. Mulford said he did great, and Josiah proudly showed me his sticker on his hand and declared that he stayed on green all day (you'd probably have to be really rotten to go down to yellow on the first day of school!!!). Callie fell asleep on the way home and the stories of the day started coming out during lunch. Most of it was in response to a question, but at least he wasn't annoyed with me asking. He told me the names of the other boys at his table (I was pleased by least he wasn't in his own little world all day!) and who had a Transformer backpack and who had Speed Racer, etc. (these are the important things, after all!) He talked about their garden (on Mondays, their special is an "outdoor classroom" - a garden where they are doing all kinds of math & science, hands-on experiments. Today they were doing something with magnifying glasses and bugs...) and about what story was read during snack time. He was just happy! He was also pretty wound up! I knew he was tired, but he was insistent that he did not want to take a nap ("that's too much sitting Mom" - not surprising after a first day of school...) After Jacob and Callie woke up, I went ahead and took them to the pool for him to get some of his wiggles out. We had a good time swimming and he came back around to being less wound up and more normal! :) Dinner was in the crockpot and ready when we all got home (as was David), so we enjoyed our dinner and then headed to Purple Cow for some free ice cream. After a quick bath, it was off to bed and he started falling apart. Jacob was showing David his school work that he did today with me, and Josiah was crying that he wanted Jacob with him. He was just exhausted! A fun, but full day. He was asleep in probably 60 seconds!
So, overall, it was a good day. We're all sort of worn out...probably more from the emotion of it all than the actual day. He's excited that his center tomorrow is Computers. I think he's ready to do the real work - he told me they did some skywriting with their fingers doing the letter "l" today - obviously the most basic letter. He told me it was quite boring and that he already knew how to write. Well, duh! So I think he'll be ready to get past all the assessment part and get to the good stuff!! I sort of always felt that way about the first day too - enough syllabus reading...let's get started! But he did great! We had a few more stories come out during dinner that he brought up - things Mrs. Mulford said to get their attention, how 1 little boy cried until after they all had their potty break after snack (yikes - that's an hour into the morning!!!), etc. So we made it! A great first day!

The First Day of School!

Here's Josiah working on getting his new shoes on. His new skill of the morning was tucking his shirt in...something he's never had to do before! :)
Here are my two boys on their first day of school! SOOO handsome!
Josiah's lunchbox all ready to go with his snack. His water bottle, pears, and Speed Racer fruit snacks! Oh, and a secret note from me! My friend Torie sent me these really cute little notes that has space on the back for you to write on. A step up from just writing on a napkin, right? I told Josiah there would be a secret note in there from me...he was excited about that!
Here he is! Backpack and lunchbox ready to go! Doesn't he look SO grown up in his uniform?
Standing out front of the school. All the kids wore red today to match Josiah!
This was how I left him! Smiling from ear to ear at his table, ready to get started!
And this is what I saw when I turned around in the van! Only 2 kids!!!! Jacob came up to sit next to Callie (he usually sits in the back next to Josiah). We went to the post office (which was a DREAM with only 2!!!) and then to a playground for a while. It was SO fun!

Thank you for all your prayers, phone calls, and emails this morning! It went so smoothly! Josiah was sitting on the couch when I came out this morning at 6:30 am. He was SO excited. Everything went great this morning - had plenty of time, he was just so excited. He practically ran into his classroom this morning - I almost had to drag him back to get his backpack settled, give Jacob a hug, etc. But then he was ready to get started, so we gave him a hug and a kiss, and off he went! He was beaming! We tried to get out pretty quickly so as not to add to the chaos (and so I wouldn't get sappy), so it was great! I feel like I'm just sort of sitting and watching my other two now - it's strange, but nice too. We've made brownies for Josiah to have when he gets home after lunch. I keep looking at my watch. Wondering what Josiah's doing...wondering how much longer until I get to go pick him up. It's been fun though - I can't wait to hear all about it (hoping he actually will TELL me about it!!!)