Thursday, September 29


As I was walking Emma and Andrew into school Tuesday, a little boy from Andrew's class said hello to him.  He turned to see who it was, and tripped on a cement platform holding a metal sign.  I was about 15 feet behind Andrew, and I had a feeling it could be bad.  I came from behind him and put my hand over his forehead before I looked at it.  Sure enough, the blood was there and lots of it. I knew without a doubt it was going to need stitches.  Emma went into class while the boys and I headed to the hospital.
Luckily, Andrew had his jacket with him and I kept reminding him to hold it tight on his "owie" for the 2 mile drive.  About halfway there he stopped responding to me, and I got nervous.  He finally said, "I don't want to talk, Mommy."  He just went into a little shell and put on a tough exterior.  We don't really have a doctor here yet, so I ran to the back door of the hospital and shouted into Dennis's secretary that I had the boys and Andrew needed stitches (of course it was the one day I didn't take my phone with me)!
There are definite perks to Dennis working right there in the hospital and being the CEO.  We went into the clinic hooked to the hospital, and within minutes they had us in a room and the doctor was there too.  I'm pretty sure he was on his lunch hour, but he was nice enough to fix up Andrew's poor forehead.
It only took about 20 minutes, and 5 stitches.  Andrew didn't talk to anyone the whole time, and didn't wrestle around or anything.  He is a tough kid.  Afterwards, Andrew begged me and begged me to take him to school, but I decided he needed the day off after such a big event! 
This is our third kid to get stitches on their forehead at age 3. Well, they were able to glue Sarah's, but still.  How weird is that?  I just don't get it... he wasn't running or anything.  It makes me a little nervous everytime one of the kids get hurt, I'm on edge about anything potentially dangerous for days!

Wednesday, September 28

Called To Serve

My parents are finally there!
They are on their mission, and as far as I've heard everything is going well.
They were originally set to leave for the MTC on August 1st, and fly out to the Solomon Islands on August 8th.
Because of a delay getting their visas, they went into the MTC last week, and flew out to the Solomons Monday night.
While in the MTC, we got to talk to them or text them each night, then they were able to spend the weekend at home.
They had a big dinner with siblings and their kids (I'm so sad my little family missed out), said their final good-byes and boarded the first of 3 planes to get there.
They first went to Los Angeles, California; then to Brisbane, Australia; then to Honiara, Solomon.
It took about 26 hours in all to travel.
I heard late last night from my oldest brother that they had made it safely and were waiting on an internet connection so that we can talk to them more.
I can't wait until that happens!
I am so excited to hear about everything.
What an amazing two years it's going to be for them!

Friday, September 16

Thirteen Point One

I started training in May.  I went from running 2 miles 5 days a week to running 7 miles on my first day of training.  At the beginning it was about 16-20 miles of running a week.  Then, each Monday I would increase my longest run by a little more.  For the past 2 months, I've been going on 10+ mile runs.  It was scary to look at my schedule each day and think about what the morning would bring.  Mondays and Fridays were my long run days.  I would wake up before 5:00 am, and run anywhere from 10 to 12 miles before the kids were awake.  I have been running up to 28 miles a week lately.  It felt so good afterwards.  I really felt like I accomplished something (even if my feet and legs were sore and my energy was a little low that day).

My first half-Marathon was September 10, 2011.  It was absolutely amazing!  My parents flew into Iowa the day before and met us in Waterloo (a city about 2 hours from our home).  They wanted to support me and spend a couple days with us right before they leave on their mission.  My sister-in-law, Melanie, has been training since June to run the half with me.  It was so nice to know I had someone else to talk to about a common goal.  Our race was called the Park-to-Park Half-Marathon because it started at a state park in Waterloo and followed trails along the 13.1 mile course to other parks throughout the city.  It was so beautiful and simply perfect.  The weather was great, the trail was beautiful, and I gave it my all.

Back in late July, Dennis asked me how fast I was running my miles.  I told him it was right at 11 min/mile.  I felt like that was great and it was actually a little faster than my original goal for my race time.  He looked at me and said, "I bet you could do it faster.  You could do it in 10 minutes, easy."  I was furious.  How dare he?  I am out there early in the morning killing myself, spending 2 hours some days!  But, then I got to thinking... MAYBE I COULD.  I started changing the way I ran.  Instead of running just to finish the miles, I was going to run for a time.  I set 10 minutes as my target mile.  I made it.  Evidently Dennis was right and maybe I wasn't so furious after all.  Maybe I'm actually kind of grateful he provoked me to try harder that day.   

So on race day, my goal was to run the half-Marathon in 2 hours, 10 minutes.  That would be just under 10 minute miles given the extra .1 miles over 13.  All through the race I felt great.  My hamstrings had been tight for a couple weeks, but I didn't feel them.  My right hip had been giving me fits for a couple months, but it felt great.  I felt like I had energy and that I could do anything (most of the time anyway).  Dennis and my parents were along the trail at different points.  It was so fun to see them and have them cheering me on.

I ran my 13.1 miles in 2 hours, 8 minutes, and 38 seconds!
Now, I've got a new goal for my next half-Marathon.  Maybe next year.

Spice It Up

Jared is at THAT age.  You know the one... the one where they are into everything?  (I think that age lasts for about 10 years by the way).  While I'm in the kitchen, he is there at my feet, pulling up by using my legs.  When I'm doing dishes, he is there unloading faster than I can load.  When I grab something out of the fridge, he is there squirming himself in before I can quickly shut the door.  I swear he crawls at lightning speed! 

I think I figured out why he loves that fridge so much, though.  It's the sauces.  Every shelf on our door is filled with different sauces, along with the entire top shelf in the body of the fridge.  Jared must be his Daddy's boy - he loves the sauces, and spicy ones at that.  He was sucking on THIS hot chili sauce we got at a Vietnamese noodle restaurant.  Silly boy.

Wednesday, September 7


Emma and Andrew both started preschool yesterday.  They have been waiting a very, very long time.  The start date was supposed to be last Thursday (which was already a full week after Sarah started school), but due to a heat wave the first two days were cancelled and then we had Labor Day... 

In our school district, the state funds a preschool program for all 4-year-olds.  They go 4 days a week for 2 1/2 hours each day.  I opted to put her in afternoon preschool so that she could ride the bus home with Sarah (their schools are on the same campus).  Emma has been ready for this for a long time.  She just loves making new friends and meeting new situations head on.  A couple weeks ago we were able to go to the school and meet her teacher.  She ran right up to her and gave her a big hug.  Luckily, her teacher smiled and gave her a hug back.  I think they are going to be a good fit!

When we moved, I immediately started calling around, looking around, and asking around about a preschool for Andrew.  I only found a couple places that I was interested in and one of them was at inconvenient times, and the other was WAY out of our price range.  I was pretty discouraged, and then heard a little rumor that Emma's preschool would allow 3-year-olds to attend if there was room, and we just had to pay tuition for him.  My original plan was to have Andrew only attend a couple days a week - just something for him to look forward to and a chance to get out of the house and learn to interact with others without me.  But, four 1/2 days a week sounded like a lot for such a little boy.  After weighing it out, Dennis and I thought this would still be the best option.  So, I called the school and they said to wait and call back because they were completely full.  A couple days later, I was at the school for something for Sarah.  That day they told me there really wasn't much of a chance of Andrew getting in... then, the very next morning I got a call telling me that there was room for him!  I could have him attend in the afternoon like Emma, and they could even have different teachers.  What a blessing! 

I dropped the kids off after lunch yesterday, and they ran right to their teachers.  I love that they are both so bold and confident.  I admit it makes me a little sad, but I am definitely grateful for it at the same time.  Little Jared and I had a wonderful afternoon running errands together and then we came back home for his nap and a little silence for me.  It was wonderful. 

I was nervous about my three little people riding the bus home together.  I probably bugged their teachers to death reminding them they all needed to get on together.  Happily, they all arrived back safe and sound with huge smiles on their faces (except for Andrew who was asleep on the bus and I had to walk on and get him).  He gave me the tightest squeeze he's given in a long time, which made my day.

After hearing the report for the day, it was all positive... except for one little tidbit.  Andrew told me his teacher was naughty.  I wondered what on earth she could have done to make him say that.  He told me she put cream all over the tables!  (They "painted" with shaving cream).  Hahaha... I'm glad he knew that making messes is naughty.