/> SLO in Arkansas: December 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Christmas

We had a lovely Christmas at home this year with the kids. We cooked a fancy Christmas Eve dinner of steak, baked potatoes, cooked apples, rolls, and green beans. We even ate on the china and sat at the dining room table with candles. The boys loved it! After dinner we got the boys in their pj's and headed out to the front yard to throw out some reindeer food for Santa and his team. Jace loved being outside and seeing all the Christmas lights and night! Tyson was very excited that Santa was coming and finally understood a little about what was going on this year. He sat on his lap at the mall earlier in the month and told him he wanted a bicycle. We had fun helping Tyson put out the milk and cookies (oreos, Santa's favorite!), and checking the stockings to see that they were empty on Christmas Eve.
We actually got tired of waiting for Tyson to wake up on Christmas morning, and got him out of bed at almost 8 am! He just smiled and said, oh, a bike!! Then he got down to business and rode that thing in circles around the house for the rest of the morning! He loves his bike and new helmet so much, and can't wait to get them outside for a proper ride.
This picture of Jace just warms my heart. He has very recently become much more attached to one of the blankets in his crib. Since I was a "blankie" girl myself, I love seeing the little guy toddle around loving on his blanket too:) Of course he wanted the bike for himself, since he thinks he is big like his brother!
Just a random shot of opening gifts. One of the few with both boys in the picture. My camera actually died half way through the morning and I had to go charge the battery a bit and caught a little action at the end. Jace was really getting into the un-wrapping and both boys would help each other unwrap their gifts. They had a little trouble understanding what belonged to who, and we spent a good amount of time breaking up fights and explaining who got what. They both love everything though and are doing better now at just sharing most of it. We had cinnamon rolls and coffee, and also hot cider and listened to Christmas music all morning. Silas and I really enjoyed the morning and just watching the boys play and being together as a family. It is definitely a blessing to be able to make these memories together:)
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Lodge 2010

The second annual trip to Oklahoma to stay at the lodge for Christmas was a huge success! 18 people in one cabin for 4 days! We had such a good time visiting family and celebrating the holiday together. The weather was awesome and we got to spend lots of time outside this year, which was perfect for the boys. They ran and played so hard every day with all their cousins:)
We spent the days eating, playing games, talking, and eating some more. That buffet table of snacks was the death of me for sure!! Some favorite games from this year included 42 (all the men played the whole time!), Qwirkle, spades, and Wits and Wagers. We kept the games going the whole time, and it is fun now that some of the older kids can join in too:)
We attended the same small church we went to last year, and they remembered us! I guess a group of 18 is hard to forget when your congregation isn't that big:) Tyson had a ball running outside and shooting Nerf guns with the older cousins, and Jace tried so hard to keep up in general! We did our bonfire again with a hot dog roast and s'mores, and had a wonderful Christmas lunch on Monday.
The kids had fun decorating their sacks for the stocking stuffers and opening their gifts. We also added in a Bingo night with prizes which was fun too:) Top that off with an evening soak in the hot tub, snacks, snacks and more snacks, and lots of visiting, and we had a great time all around. The boys were excellent travelers this trip, in fact the best trip we have ever taken! I even managed to get one run in while we were there. It was a killer 3.5 mile route of HUGE hills, but it was fun:) I sure am glad Ellen went with me (we were a little nervous about bears!). All in all it was a great 4 days for sure. We sure do appreciate our family and love spending time together and making these special memories.
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Lodge 2010

The weather was so nice and we spent lots of time outside enjoying it! Silas and the boys kept the fire going most of the time we were there and everyone loved spending time playing football or just talking around the fire pit. Jace and Tyson adored being outside and running and playing.
Jace gets some loving from his Mimi:)
The older boys playing some cards.
We celebrated Steve's 60th birthday while we were there since everyone was together. It was a nice surprise for him, and we enjoyed watching him open gifts and sharing some pink pie!
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Lodge Pictures 2010

The men. Granddad Jack, Shawn, Martin, Silas and Steve.
Cousins Tyson and Hayden
The cousins (except Jace who was napping!)

All the cousins!
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Running Cold

I got some new running shoes this week and have been working on breaking them in. I think they are my magic shoes!! I trained at such a slow pace for the half marathon, and I have really kicked up my speed since November. I was running about a 10:30-10:45 minute mile pace during training for the half, and then averaged a 9:50 pace during the actual race. Since then I have really been working on my speed and upping the intensity during my shorter runs during the week. I just ran 4 miles tonight and averaged a 8:54 pace!! My first mile was 8:45. I am super pleased to have my training pace under 9 minutes. My run tonight took 3 and a half minutes off of my 4 mile race time from this summer! I can't wait to run it again this August and see what I can do! I guess doing longer distance has really helped my speed. Mostly it has just improved my fitness level so I can push harder for shorter distances. I ran 8 miles this weekend by myself and averaged 9 minute something miles the whole time.

I think there are two big differences going on right now. The first is the cold weather! I hate the cold! It was 24 degrees when we ran on Monday night this week. I may be running faster just to get done and get back inside to sit by the fire:) Secondly I have been running on my own a lot more the past few weeks. My training partner is not wanting to run a marathon for the spring and is cutting back a bit on the training, so that leaves me no choice but to head out alone most nights. At first I really didn't like it, but I am really enjoying the difference now. I put my music on and zone out to the beat. It really has helped me pace faster I believe. I ran 4 miles with Amy on Monday in 40:35. Tonight I ran it by myself in 35:36. That is 5 minutes faster for 4 miles!! I guess it takes a lot out of you to chat the whole time:) Anyway, I am still chugging along and am really pleased with where I am at right now. The next few weeks will definitely be a challenge trying to squeeze long runs in, seeing as Christmas and New Years both fall on Saturdays this year. I am just adjusting my schedule some and will figure out how to work some longer runs in and then hit the schedule hard at the first of the year. I still haven't registered for the marathon either!! I need to commit soon! The cold has been pretty tough on my asthma as well, but I just use my inhaler once in the beginning and I can breathe fine the rest of the time thank goodness. I have found that if it is over 50 degrees then I usually don't even need it:) I can't wait til spring!
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Monday, December 13, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here! I love this time of year:) I did manage to get a few cute pictures of my kids kinda looking towards the camera and smiling, so I thought I would include those today. Christmas needs to hurry up and get here already, or Santa will be broke! We have had so much fun picking things out for the kids this year, as they have specific interests and are starting to understand some of the special things we are doing.
The boys even sat on Santa's lap at the mall and no one cried or even fussed about it! The picture is cute but I am not sure how to scan it in to put it on here. Maybe we will get another one later with our own camera. Tyson is so excited and keeps asking, is it Christmas yet??
We are all doing well and have managed to stay healthy so far this winter. We have tried to minimize the amount of activities going on this time of year so we aren't just running ourselves ragged going from one thing to the next. So far that has worked out well for us. I love the parties and get-togethers, but with small kids it is just so hard to find babysitters and squeeze everything in, so we have tried to do things the whole family can participate in together. The kids seem to enjoy that and Silas and I do too:)
We are gearing up for our Christmas at the lodge with the Orbison crew coming up this weekend! We are all very excited for our second annual trip. Silas and I both have busy work weeks this week, but it will still be such an easy week compared to this week last year.....we were closing on our house and moving! I can't believe we have been here a year on the 17th. We have loved this house so much, as it meets all of our needs and has been a great family home. I adore having a crackling fire in the fireplace downstairs in our bedroom every night, and Silas has managed to split almost all the wood from the trees in the backyard! We are slowly getting things done around here and trying to have some fun in the process:) We are all excited about the season of Christmas and spending time with family and friends.
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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Christmas Picture Bloopers

I just got a Christmas card in the mail this week from a friend. It made me mad. You know the kind....several adorable pictures of their kids (roughly the same ages as your own), immaculately dressed and smiling. Smiling and looking at the camera. At the same time!! Makes me sick.
So in honor of trying to get a picture for our Christmas card this year, I got the boys all dressed up (well we didn't put shoes on!), and tried to stand them in front of the tree for one cute picture. Easy as pie, right?? I think not. Check out all the lovely shots I did manage to catch of my precious children! Yes, that is an entire glass tree ornament shoved in Jace's mouth! I gave it to him to hold to distract him from running off, and the booger ate the whole thing!
Well now Jace looks cute as pie in this one, but apparently Tyson was screaming Cheese, or Merry Christmas, or Presents, or whatever I told them to say at the time. Actually he just kept repeating "look at the camera," every time I would say it. Didn't make for a good picture!
Nothing like a little brotherly love, or choke, to make a cute picture. Poor Tyson was trying to hold Jace who kept running towards me, but Jace wasn't having any of that and got mad pretty fast. At least the tree ornament is in his hand and not his mouth! Anyway, most of the pictures I got were awful, so there may not be a picture with the card this year!! There may not even be a card for that matter....guess I should get on that soon, huh?!
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Friday, December 03, 2010

Bringing Up Boys

Let the good times roll! Jace is growing up so fast it is crazy. Little stink pot just turned 15 months old last week. He weighs right under 27 pounds and wears size 24 month clothes. And is already in size 5 diapers. To celebrate his growing up, he decided to learn some new tricks this week. He has now mastered the ability to climb up onto any chair, which means he can now reach anything he wants on any counter, table, etc. Nothing is safe anymore! Yesterday morning I found him up on my kitchen table.
In addition to his climbing chairs, he is also trying to climb out of his crib. I found him with one leg hoisted up over the rail when I went to get him from his nap two days ago. Silas quickly lowered the crib, but I don't think it will be long before he starts climbing out.
He fell out of the shopping cart last night while we were at Target. He was just standing in the basket one second while we were looking at something, and then just leaned over and flipped out on his face the next. Good grief! He is pretty fearless but at least he figures out pretty fast how to do things right after he falls once:) He can reach the door knobs on all the doors at the house too, but at least we have the old school kind and he hasn't figured out how to twist them yet. Oh yeah, he also pushes all the buttons on every alarm clock in the house, messes with Tyson's sleeping CD, and can get onto the top bunk of Tyson's bunk bed. He is also trying to cook and reaches up and tries to turn on the burners on the stove top!! Yikes that kid is tall!
Last but certainly not least is the Christmas tree. Oh how he loves that tree!! Every morning I find tons of ornaments scattered across the living room floor where he has dropped them. He pulls them off the tree, tries to eat them, and then throws them down. Some lucky few he decides to fling down the stairwell into the foyer! Needless to say all the breakable ones are up on the top. My tree looks ridiculous this year with all the ornaments concentrated on the top half. Tyson can reach a lot more than he can, and thinks lots of them are fun toys for him to play with. At least he listens when I tell him not to pull them off the tree! I am just waiting for the entire tree to come down one day. So anyway, that is what I am dealing with this week. Jace and his new found freedom and climbing antics are wearing me out! But he is so stinking sweet and I just love him to death:)

I will close with one last quote from Tyson while shopping in Target last night.
Tyson: "Mom, can you turn around please so I can run off and get lost?"

Are you kidding me!!?? At least I have raised a very polite, if not mischievous little boy:)
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Thanksgiving 2010

We had a fabulous Thanksgiving! Silas' sister Sherrie and her family came to visit from Texas and we had so much fun eating, playing, shopping and hanging out together.
The boys were spoiled rotten by their Aunt, Uncle and cousins, which they just loved:)
Sherrie and I got some serious Black Friday shopping done thanks to the men holding down the fort, and it was great to get some girl time in!
The adults managed to sneak away one night to a movie (a very rare treat for us indeed!) while the cousins babysat, and we ate til our hearts content the whole week. Silas and I loved cooking as usual and we had plenty of left overs to last the rest of the visit. I even managed to get a 6 mile run in Saturday morning thanks to my sweet niece Ellen who went with me! The boys were so sad when the family left, but luckily we will be seeing everyone again in just a few weeks for Christmas at the Lodge again this year!!

We had a few hours between the family leaving and some friends from college coming into town to visit. I got the sheets washed and the house picked up a little bit before they came, thank goodness!! We had fun catching up and it was so neat to watch our 5 children play together and be friends. We enjoyed dinner out together and a relaxing time at home hanging out. We finally said good-bye to all the company after lunch on Monday. Our house has been so quiet! We definitely miss everyone and look forward to our next visits:)
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