Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nearing Ninety...

I love listening to you tell me about your crochet pattern. I love listening to you laugh as you show me where you "messed up" and saying, "No one will ever know!"


In early February, Asher brought home an interim report with 2 A's, 3 B's, and a D on it. As a former speech pathologist with a master's degree I can assure you my son doesn't have a learning disability of any sort and is fully capable of making straight A's. I looked at his interim report, saw his D was in Spelling, read the note from his teacher ("incomplete assignments"), looked straight into Asher's eyes, and said, "Son, in our house a D is for dumb, doesn't care, and/or didn't do the work. I know you're not dumb. I know you care about school. So, the question is... why didn't you do your assignments?"

Asher answered me in a whiny voice... "Moooooommmmmm.... I already know the spelling words. I know how to spell them. I know what they mean. I know how to use them in a sentence. I know them. Why do I have to do the homework? It's so boooooooooooring."

I looked him in the eyes again and answered, "Because. Because your teacher assigned you the work. You may already know all of the words and their definitions... however, you have to do the work because it is required. You can be the smartest person EVER and if you don't work you will go hungry. So, get with it and get your assignments done. School is your job. And, your boss is telling you that you are not doing your best. Make it right. There better not be a D... or for that matter... a C on your upcoming report card. In fact, YOU should be making all A's."

Fast forward one month...

I attended his parent/teacher conference and returned home after getting his report card. When I walked through the door, he was there. He looked at me and asked, "How was the conference?"

I looked at him and asked, "How do you think it went... what do you think you made on your report card?"

He said, "I don't know. But, I think I know."

"Well," I said, "You made all A's."

He smiled, walked toward me, and hugged me tight. In his hug, I could feel his pride. I could feel his inward motivation brought to fruition in good grades. I could sense his satisfaction of a job well done. I knew he had learned the lesson I was trying to teach him. The lesson of personal responsibility, no excuses, and hard work. That was enough. I didn't need to tell him, "See what a little work gets you," or "I knew you could do it," or "You're so smart."

I just hugged him back.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Feeding the Chickens

Lil throws the chicken feed...
Stella does too!
Wyatt found an egg!

"This is what the chickens say... Brrkkk..."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pony Fashion

Apparently, ponies wear dirty socks on their front two feet...
They also seem to prefer "Perry the Platypus" hats and use jump ropes for a lead ropes.


I ran the Little Rock Half-Marathon on Sunday. It was a chilly morning and I was full of self-doubt. I had trained fairly faithfully for the race but I had missed a few long runs because of weather and sickness. So, I started the race on Sunday with a goal of "just finishing." (Well, under 2:30!)

I ran with my sister, Mandie, for the first seven miles or so... we enjoyed chatting with each other and with other people on the course. Being in a race always conjures up a sense of camaraderie. We're all on the same course. We all have the same goal. Being in a race also highlights our differences. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. We all run at different speeds. It's a symbol of life.

From point A to point B with many miles between...

I always meet new people in a race. I always find a new pacer. I always pass and I'm always passed by people. I always feel a range of emotions. I usually ask someone if they need something or if they're okay during the race. I usually learn something new about myself during the course of 13 miles.

I learned Sunday how important having a sister is... I also learned how to go out on my own to reach an uncertain goal. I used my reserve to run a fast final 3 miles of 13 and I earned a new PR! I learned that experience is worth more than I realized. Even though I only ran one 10-mile training run, I ran faster than last year when I ran all of my long training runs. I also learned the value of some intermittent treadmill training (speed training for me... I made myself run at 8 1/2 to 9 minute miles for 5-7 miles) to increase my speed.

I really surprised myself on Sunday and I'm encouraged to go for an even bigger goal in my next race. I especially want to use this experience to encourage my trainees in the "Women Can Run" clinic. "You can do it!" will be repeated many times this year during training because I want other women to experience the joy of running that a certain someone gave me five years ago...

Thanks, Dyron.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Eden's First Entry

My favorite part is... "I am also at home."

Family Journal

I bought a new journal at the Hallmark store yesterday. I knew I didn't need one but I couldn't resist Snoopy. So, I decided to make this journal a "family" journal.

The journal will be left on the small kitchen table so anyone can write or draw in it whenever they feel the urge... I'm hoping to capture a picture of who we are with all of our words and drawings.

Last night, Asher and I were reading "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" and we came across a great quote. I mentioned I was going to have to write it down in the journal. Asher jumped up and got the journal. He wanted to write it down himself.

Therefore, the first entry in our family journal is... "I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." -Sherlock Holmes

Lil made her first entry this morning... Ironically, she drew lightning. She is terrified of lightning. Go figure.

One out of two ain't bad...

Actually, 50% is failing.

So hard for me to say... I failed at my 30-day cleaning and organizing challenge. I only accomplished about half of what I wanted to accomplish. Laundry, kitchen, living, dining, guest bedroom, master bedroom, hall...

I need the painted baseboards nailed in and the ceiling painted in the hall bath. I need to paint the master bath (which has had paint sample splotches on the wall for longer than I care to mention). However, I have an excuse. We were supposed to install a double shower over Thanksgiving and got side-tracked with a smaller project that took longer than expected. I need to paint Asher's bedroom. (The current yellow doesn't match his new "teen" comforter.)

I am happy to report all the areas that have been cleaned and organized have remained cleaned and organized. I have been more cognizant of putting things away properly. I love to be organized but it takes some maintenance work!

I will continue to chip away at these projects and complete them. I want to feel like my house is finished... but who knows if that will ever come to fruition. There is always something to be fixed, updated, cleaned, etc.

I've confirmed with this challenge I am a busy mama. I expect the impossible out of 24 hours. I make the list and fully anticipate checking off everything... But there are always interruptions. Like children. And a husband. Cooking. Cleaning. LAUNDRY! Volunteering at school. Church responsibilities. Helping out a friend. Running. Reading. Writing. Isn't that life?

I love busy. Busy means you're needed. You're essential. Busy means you're accomplishing goals. No matter how small. Busy is moving. It's going somewhere. It's purpose.

I had a hard time trying to decide on a challenge for March. If February was a busy month... March is guaranteed to be off the charts! I'm hosting a wedding shower and rehearsal dinner this weekend. I'm running the Little Rock Half on Sunday. Soccer and baseball start this month. Spring Break. The Beelers (who are currently living in South Africa) are visiting next weekend. I'm in a wedding on March 19th. Photo shoots. I'm a trainer for beginner runners in the Maumelle "Women Can Run" clinic which meets two nights a week. Yowzers!

So.... March will be a month of mini-challenges.
#1 I will finish my painting projects. (Master bath and Asher's room.)
#2 I will start a new workout routine next week. I want to take a toning class 3x a week with two additional short runs.
#3 Our family is starting a "family" journal.
#4 I want to make menus again and stay within a $100 weekly budget for the month.
#5 I want to work in the yard at least once a week.

I'll be blogging about each mini-challenge and hoping to inspire others to take small baby steps to reach big goals in our lives. I always love your suggestions and hearing about your own goals. Happy Spring!