Thursday, November 26, 2009

Redding Turkey Trot

O and I did the Redding Turkey Trot this morning. They had three divisions. The first was a 1/4 mile kids dash. O ran with the other 5 and 6 year-olds and finished near the front. Since she just turned 5, I was proud of her effort. At the finish, she asked if she could do it again :)

The second division was a 6 mile run. My dad and my sister stayed with O and cheered me on at the starting point. I had a little difficulty breathing in the cold air, and the course (especially the first two miles) was a little more hilly than I anticipated, but my goal was to finish in 55 minutes, and I did it in 54:04. If it had been chip-timed, I think it would have come in around 53:30 because the start pack was pretty narrow, and it took a while to get going.

But the run was beautiful - it goes along the Sacramento river, and the hills and trees and water were really pleasant to look at when running. I also met a family from SD - both wearing their R&R marathon shirts like me. It was a lot of fun!

The third division was a 2 mile fun run/walk. My dad and Jessica took O with them to walk the course. Afterward, we all enjoyed orange slices and juice together before heading back home to rest before the Thanksgiving feast. Hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving!

O is really into stormtroopers for some reason.

A very short video of the start of the kid's race:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Redding trip for Thanksgiving

We are spending the Thanksgiving holiday in Redding with my family. Typically it takes us about 9 hours to drive from home to here. On Monday, it took us almost 12! The LA traffic and the extra potty breaks really slowed us down! But, I guess we got there a whole lot faster than people would have 100 years ago! :) For the most part, though, the trip was pleasant. The girls only really started complaining in the last few hours - mostly it was just tiring. (for all of us!)

Now that we are up here, we've already had a lot of fun activities together with my family, and we have a lot more scheduled for later in the week. Other than being too jacked up and excited to sleep or nap, the girls are behaving well.
Here are some photos of the past two days:

Golfing with grandpa at the Redding golf course:

Playing in the snow area at Eskimo Hill outside of Lassen National Park with cousin Holli:

Driving in grandpa's convertible for ice cream at DQ!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Orange Slices - Orange Belts

This post will cover a bunch of things we've been up to over the past week. Things have been going pretty well, and we are grateful for it!

On Sunday, I ran my first half marathon. I finished in just over 2 hrs. 11 min, which put me in the bottom 30% for my age bracket. I've got some work to do! I like the half marathon a lot better than the full. I think at this stage in my life, this is a better race for me to work on as the training does not take up as much time as the full marathon did. Although it was a perfect day, I was still recovering from illness, and I wasn't able to give it my best effort. I'm confident that I can beat 2 hrs when I run another one in February. When I finished, I remembered how good orange slices taste when you are getting dehydrated and are exhausted from exercise. What a yummy reward at the end!

Also this weekend, Joy and Jenetta took the girls to an event at the Barnes and Noble store in Carmel Mountain where they got dressed up and had stories read to them. The girls love dressing up in their pretty dresses and they love spending time with Grandma Joy even more!

On Monday, we spent some time with Cris and Alana. It is a good thing to have more family nearby, and the girls love playing with them! It will be great when they have another "cousin" to play with after their firstborn comes along. This video is not very interesting, I'll admit, but it demonstrates the girls favorite thing to do at a lake - toss rocks in the water.

Later that day I got more information about my job. Apparently, I will be hired back on Dec. 1. There is a list of tasks that need to be accomplished prior to re-launching the product early next year, so that at least is some job security for me. I'll be SO happy to get an income again!

The last thing I wanted to post was a progress report on the girls behavior. We were blessed with an 8-day stretch of really great listening a
nd obedience and helpfulness with the girls. We have a rewards/punishment system involving smiley faces, and the best O had ever done with keeping all her smiley faces for an entire day was a stretch of 3 or 4 days. (I'm pretty sure she was sick for half of those, anyway). A typical day involved her losing at least one of the three smileys before breakfast! Losing all three smileys before the end of the day results in consequences they really don't like - and it's no fun for us, either!

Well, both girls had been keeping all three smiley faces all day long for a stretch of 8 days! There has been the usual sibling bickering and some minor incidents, but nothing worthwhile of any serious consequences. O has talked a lot about being calm and doing her best to keep her smileys. It really has been wonderful - so much so that even when they made some unfortunate choices yesterday, losing one smiley face didn't seem like that big of a deal to us (although it was huge for them - and they are determined to do better today!)

Anyway, with their karate class, they earn their first belt - the orange "Tiger" belt for listening at home, being obedient, and a number of other things. We felt strongly that we weren't going to just check them off and let them just get their belts. We wanted them to mean something - for them to earn them. Their behavior has been so good that we felt it was time for them to get their belts. They were so excited!

This past stretch has been really fun for us. It makes us enjoy parenting! We leave on Monday for a week's long vacation with family in Redding, so I'll post more fun stuff when we are up there.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

I was inspired by two things this morning. First, the tone of my previous post made me feel totally stuck in a rut. I've been doing the same things over and over so much the days are all blending together. So I decided to do something different today. Secondly, one of my friends from grad school put on his facebook post - "there has to be a far better way to honor our veterans than furniture sales."

So I decided to take the girls downtown to the Veteran's Day parade. O wore her camouflage pants, and she was so excited to see that she matched the people in utilities. They said "Yes Sir" and saluted everyone in dress uniforms, and they said "Thank you" to all the American Legion and VFW and ex-POWs that paraded by. Plus they got a bunch of candy. It was a fun outing.

Been a while...

I haven't posted much lately. We've just been doing the same things over and over again, I guess, so I haven't had much that feels worthy of sharing.

The girls dressed as princesses for Halloween, and we went to a nearby church for a harvest festival. They had a lot of fun, but it was easy to see that after a few minutes, it was getting overwhelming for them. It was hard to walk around because of the crowds and there was a pretty long wait for every booth and activity. Neither one of them do well in large crowds - it makes them very anxious. So we came back home and let them trick or treat in our neighborhood. Then let them stay up late and we watched Charlotte's Web together in front of the fire.

We are fully into the routine of school, play, exercise, meals, and cleaning up. I'm looking forward to the holidays to change up the schedule a bit! :)

Both girls are enjoying their bikes. L is now big enough to pedal on her own, and O is becoming a speed demon. We tried the no training wheels experiment for O at her request the other day - I think we will need to keep them on for a little while yet. But they ask to go outside and ride all the time. We are thankful to live on a cul-de-sac.

The one big changeup for us has been illness. L brought home a stomach bug that she picked up at school, so this weekend was really tough on her. Then she shared it with me, and after two days on the couch and in bed, I'm just now getting back to normal. I am supposed to run a half marathon in Coronado on Sunday. I'm hoping I can get my strength back in time. I haven't eaten real food since Saturday! Jenetta is still in bed this morning, and I think it is hitting her now.

Speaking of running, we are finding that O really enjoys running with me, and it makes a huge difference in her level of focus. It is challenging to make it a constant game for a 5 year old. If we just ran, she would check out pretty quickly. So we play red light green light, you can't catch me!, who can get to the stop sign first?, and a series of other games that we make up along the way. It has been a fun bonding time for me and the exercise has been really good for her - it makes a huge difference in her behavior and choices during the day. I'm running a turkey trot 10K in Redding with some of my family on the 26th, and I was thrilled to find they have a kid's division 1/4 mile sprint. O is super-competitive, so she has been practicing and is looking forward to running faster than all the other kids!

There has been mixed communication on the job front. I've been told that the new company will be officially setup on the 16th and the first task is to hire me. The shareholders have been putting in a tremendous amount of work and they have told me that they are tired of taking their vacation days to handle tasks they would rather have me do for them. I appreciate that kind of talk, and am encouraged by it. The person slated to be the new CEO has some serious concerns about the viability of the company as a whole. My former boss was so positive that he overlooked most of the unpleasant realities. This person does the opposite. He is hyper-realistic - often to the point of expecting failure. So it can be discouraging to hear his projections. But at the very least, I know things can't be worse than the picture he paints, and I know he is honest about what he sees.

But I'd love to post next week that I officially have a job again and that income is once again flowing our way! In the meantime, we know that God provides and that whatever happens, we are trusting Him.

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