Friday, August 27, 2010

All for Snooker

I can't believe it, my little Snooker is 8 years old (yesterday). I'm sure all moms say this, or feel this way... but when I look at him I still see my little two year old... my baby of the trio. Sigh... he's no baby, though... nope, he's a big (well, big for our guys), tall, lanky boy. I'm not sure he will ever grow out of the baby giraffe movement... that just seems to be the way he handles his body... but my oh my how he's grown!

Since it was his birthday, it was birthday adventure day. Daddio took the day off, and we had the day jam packed with fun. We started off with a family run... which turned into a Daddy and boy run, while Mommy tried not to die at least a lap behind them (thanks to a migraine the day before, and all the meds... ughhh, but I digress). Next up was a yummy bacon and egg breakfast... a Daddio special! Then we were off. Snooker decided he wanted to hit the Lego store where he could browse and pick out his gift (yeah we're cool like that). Then out to lunch... and off to the surprise adventure...

Adventure Landing in Dallas is super cool... and empty during the week when school is in session... SWEET! Thursdays are $10 per person for all you can play mini golf, and laser tag, and then a handful of tokens for the arcades. We started with golf. Now, anything that the kids think would be way fun to do usually turns into a frustration for them. They are convinced that they know what they are doing, so when things aren't working the way they thought... well, little fits occur (bowling was one of these... they hated it during the event, but couldn't stop talking about how great it was later). The golfing experience finally came to a close... I would love to tell you won, but no score was kept... I managed 3 holes in one, Daddio had a few, and so did Bubba... Daddio's memory is probably better than mine so he might remember if the other two managed to get one as well.

Next up, video games. Yeah we went through those 50 tokens QUICK!

Then... LASER TAG! Oh yeah. Okay, yesterday morning I put in about 2.5 miles, the boys did a little more... somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.5 miles. Then we walked the Lego Store at the mall a number of times to find JUST THE RIGHT THING, then walking around the mini golf 18 holes... by the time we got to the laser tag my legs were feelin' a little rubbery (and the little slip on flats I was wearing certainly weren't helping the issue)... but hey it is laser tag (or Star Wars shooting if you ask the boys)... and there was plenty of running, and crouching (which I wouldn't recommend to those who would wear a knee length skirt and attempt to be modest with a black light not doing you any favors... just wear shorts, you will thank me... I learned the hard way).

And if the laser tag wasn't cool enough... oh yes, we as parents got even cooler... GO KARTS (the Jr. karts they could each drive). I know... just send the 'Parents of the Year' award now... no need to wait til January to tabulate the results!

Snooker cracked us up! Well, it was an educational experience all around. From watching them drive go karts, here's what I've learned: Bobcat will be allowed to take Drivers Ed and get a license. He was cautious, and stayed in his lane (although he will not be allowed to have a cell phone, he was constantly yelling over the noise trying to talk to his brothers... no conversatin' while you're tryin' to drive). Bubba will not be allowed behind the wheel of any motorized vehicle. The kid hit EVERYTHING the whole time! And Snooker, sweet sweet Snooker, is a speed demon. He figured out that if hung back a little and got some space in a particular portion of the track, then he could hit the gas and sling shot around the bend. Oh yes... no driving for that one until he can afford his own insurance and pay his own speeding tickets!

We hit another round of laser tag then headed off to pick up the dessert that Snooker has wanted since, who knows when (his brothers got to go with Daddio... so he's only heard of this place)... the Chocolate Factory. Yes, it is as wonderful as it sounds. They have huge apples dipped in all sorts of caramel, chocolate, toffee, cookies... then the truffles (I had a champagne truffle myself that was... AMAZING)... yeah, that took a while for little Mr. Indecisive... but he finally decided on an apple that had caramel, white chocolate, then dipped in crumbled oreo's, and a few gummy worms on top (dirt and worms).

Finally we arrived home... a long day nearly behind us... just one more thing... one more birthday gift from us.

Keva Planks! We first saw these at our local museum. He loved them (I loved them)... and every time we stop into that museum, he always asks if he can build with them... so on our last trip there Daddio slipped away to the gift shop and bought the biggest box of them they had! Needless to say, he was overjoyed when he opened it.

After some building time... we were all off to bed...

And this morning... RUBBER LEGS, lots of building, and one happy boy!

Monday, August 23, 2010

First day photo!

Looking backwards...
2007 The first year all three where schooling... Snooker was finally in kindergarten!

2006 Bobcat and Bubba (with a Snooker who desperately wanted in on it)

2005 Just the Bobcat!

Bringin our total up to 4!

Godchildren that is!!!

Day One

Well, the big day is finally here... our first school day!

Bobcat: 5th grade

Bubba: 4th grade

Snooker: 3rd grade

I honestly can't believe I have a 5th grader... I have a hard time believing that this is our 6th first day of school (for Bobcat and me that is)...

No I don't have a picture yet... I will a little later... and maybe I'll even throw a few old first day shot up here for a walk down memory lane!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dun dun ta dun... Darth Vader's theme song!

The long awaited (for Elizabeth) list of what is on the table for this year's homeschooling extravaganza!

We'll start with the easy stuff that we've used for years now:

  • Seton Handwriting
  • Math U See
  • CHC (Grammar) Language for Little Folks
  • MCP Phonics (3rd Grade)
  • Seton Phonics (4th, 5th)
  • Seton Reading Comprehension (3, 4, 5)
  • Seton History: The Catholic Faith Comes to the New World
  • Wordly Wise (A, B, C workbooks for 3rd, Level 1 for 4th)
  • Seton Vocabulary 5 (when ever they actually send it to me... silly back orders messin' everything up)
New stuff:

For additional materials (mostly used for the memorization exercises):

  • Lingua Mater: Intermediate
  • The Harp & Laurel Wreath
This will be the first year that all three boys will be covering all subjects... which is new this year. Last year Snooker didn't have vocabulary or reading comprehension... and then we've added Latin, Art Appreciation, and Writing (form and structure) to the list of subjects. Plus the history and science are much more involved than in years past... with work every day instead of just a once a week subject!

Every day that I sit down to work on polishing up my plans for the semester I'm slightly overwhelmed with the volume. This year really stepped up a notch... not only in their work, but in my involvement with more guided work and more reading for me to do out loud for all three of them (specifically history and science). It is definitely a turning point in our homeschooling journey, one that I'm anxiously looking forward to!

Also this summer started to be a turning point in my own thinking of our homeschooling and its future. Until this summer I really only took the mindset of just the up coming year, not over burdening myself with the future... a mantra of homeschoolers everywhere is take it one year at a time... and there is definitely wisdom in that... but it occurred to me that Bobcat is going into the fifth grade. Oh how close he is to those middle school years... even high school... and so a lot of my thoughts and planning took on a longer view and how the things we would be using this year would serve his intellect in years to come.

Any great epiphanies in regards to those years coming? No, just that they came so suddenly...

We still have many challenges ahead of us (MATH), but all in all I'm very pleased with how my research and the purchases panned out! I enjoyed the conference in July immensely, and it was just the kind of pep talk a homeschooling family needs before they once again begin the new school year.

Now for that all important question that is floating off of every mother's lips these days.... when are you starting (sometimes with anguish behind the eyes :-)? Next week... slowly... by the 30th we will be humming along full speed ahead! For a month that is, then we will get to spend a week in Florida... something to look forward to :-).

Saturday, August 14, 2010


This morning's run was cut short due to all the whining and complaining I was having to listen to. Normally I can block out this sort of behavior on a run, but I reached my limit and knew that it would be better to just go on home instead of getting angrier and angrier... If they were just a little older, I would've just sent them home (especially since our first mile ended at our street) and then gone on my merry way to finish the run...

What should have a 25 minute run (and some where in the neighborhood of 2.5 miles) was a rather just a mile. For that mile, though, I made really good time:

First half mile: 5:30 minutes (slight down hill on the first leg, and then up hill the second leg)

Total mile: 11:19 minutes!

I was pretty worn out after that first mile, so I know my second mile would have been a lot slower... but I'm okay with that.

Monday, August 9, 2010

10 40 over and out...

That's a funny title... sorry it is the 1040th post on this blog and I couldn't resist!

This morning was a nice change of pace for running.... Daddio had the day off and so we got to run as a family for the first time in well over a month. We headed out about an hour or some later than when the boys and I usually run (which made a little hotter), but that was okay because we got in the car and headed to a nice and shady (super wide) trail a few minutes down the road!

The training schedule called for 10 min run, 3 minute walk, 10 minute run (I will say that I didn't look at my list this morning and was under the impression it was a 10/5/10 routine)... unfortunately I have been suffering a womanly issue for the last week and half... normal women who run probably have no problems with this issue... but for ladies like me who have PCOS or other issues where we only go through this once or twice a year... WELL IT IS A REAL PAIN in a number of different ways. I am pretty disappointed in the overall run today, I only managed 10 min run, 5 min walk, and 5 min run before I felt like I was going to hurl! Daddio was quite patient and reminded me that most people probably wouldn't have even gotten out of bed when dealing with what I've been dealing with. That did make me feel somewhat better, but still frustrated in not finishing the recommended routine for the day.

I did get an 'atta girl' for good form, good pace, and regulated breathing... I've been wondering where I'm at in relation to his speed (since our first race we wanted to try to stay together as a family... I didn't want to drag him down, and I didn't know if I was getting any where near a 10 minute mile, not there yet but getting closer).

Also based on what he saw of the boys, he feels they are ready for a 5K... so we are really just waiting on me to finish the program. I'm okay with that. I feel good knowing that I'm not pushing them, and that they will be able so survive this distance in this heat. As for me... I CAN'T WAIT TILL OCTOBER. I really could use it being about 10 degrees cooler when we run. It would make my current situation so much easier to deal with... although knowing my body I won't have this problem for another 6-12 months.

I don't know about your children... but my boys love picking things up... even on a run. They will stop mid-stride if they see something, then sprint back to catch up. This morning it was tree nuts of some sort. Once we were back in the car and headed home the comparisons started of who had what and how many... and that's when Snooker got upset because he didn't bring any into the car... someone shared so all was right with the world again. Then this... from Bubba and I quote "I wish I had a pickle jar, without any pickles (pause), and no pickle juice to put these nuts into." That kid cracks me up... he knows exactly how he wants it to look in his head... the exact kind of jar... he is so much like me it just makes me laugh every time he describes a thing he wants/needs!

That's it for me... Happy Monday... catch ya on the flip side :-)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What what...

Today I hit my biggest (and most impressive) goal with the whole running thing! Today I ran an entire 20 minutes without stopping. You might be saying to yourself (you cynic) that hey, you've been interval training so why is that such a big thing... well I'll tell you... my previous longest run (which happened to be Monday) was 8 minutes. That's right I jumped from 8 minutes to 20!!! CRAZY, right!?!

In theory (the C25K theory) was that 20 min = 2 miles. Um, yeah, pretty sure I didn't run two miles. Probably a mile and half (or a little more). I was running pretty slow... could be considered a 'jolk' (yes I made it up, it's my word and I'll use it if I want)! BUT I WAS NOT WALKING! So yeah for me.

Now about the boys... good grief, I was certain that this would be the thing... the distance... the time... that would have them winded, tired, even complaining... NOPE, still galloping and prancing like ponies... even asthma boy (Bubba) wasn't even slightly winded.

As for me around minute 11 I was starting to get tired, but I reasoned with myself that I would keep on pushing, get around that next corner, get to that big tree... DON'T look at the watch... and then I broke (sort of) I just had to look at my watch, I felt like I was fading... so I made a deal with myself, if it was under 15 minutes I would push through to the 15 minute mark and then walk the rest of the way home. If it was past the 15 minute mark I was going ALL THE WAY. The time dear friends... 16 1/2 minutes... onward Christian soldiers it was!

I re-focused my breathing (code for stopped panting like a dog), massaged my back a little, and started paying attention to the music I was listening to (Michael Buble... nice jazzy beat). The last few minutes went by pretty quickly and then we walked home. After about 3 minutes of walking my heart rate settled right down, and I could have run another 5+ minutes... but that wasn't on the schedule for today so we just walked it on home (plus Bobcat was limping and crying the whole time... had to sit on a bench at the park... so running was really out of the picture with him in-tow at that point anyway).

So what's left... well today was the completion of week 5 for me. The next round is another set of intervals for the first two workouts... and Wednesday next week will be a 25 minute solid run. And that will conclude week 6. Week 7 has all three days' runs set at 25 minutes no stopping, and then week 8 will be 3 workouts of 28 minutes solid! Week 9, the last week is 30 minutes and the intention that you will have gotten a little faster and are running somewhere in the neighborhood of a 10 minute mile! Here's hopin!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

In his hay day...

As I was going through my email this morning I saw a message from my grandmother's account... when I opened it up I was so excited to see that it was actually from my grandfather... who never sends emails!

He was writing to make sure I wasn't pushing it too hard with the running, and that I wasn't pushing the boys too hard. He had seen a weather announcement for our area with 106/107 degree days... he was concerned. In it he also gave some pointers... in his hay day he was quite an athlete. Up until the last decade or so he was an avid runner/biker/tennis dude/gym buff. Like all things though, age has taken it's toll and with knee replacements and back surgeries to relieve pain he spends his time mostly at the gym to do what he can and use their sauna/spas.

Some of my earliest memories of my grandparents are of them and their outdoor and active lifestyle. They were always down at the Racket Club playing tennis with the seniors club, or swimming what seemed to be (to a tiny tot) a million laps in the pool. I knew my grandfather was a runner, but I didn't really remember the details of what he did.

Anyway, at the bottom of my grandfather's email he added some of his timed mileage that he had handy... mind you these where when he was in his 50's...

They may not be my best, but they are some I have record of.

1 mile 5:31

2 Mile 11:34

3 miles 18:20

4 miles 26:33

5 miles 35:05

6 Miles 39:45

10 miles 1:11:49

Houston Marathon 3hr 45 minutes in 1980

People... in his 50's he was CRAZY FAST!!!! My goal right now... a 10 minute mile! I have one of the coolest grandfathers ever!

Happy Birthday

I want to wish my dear husband a very happy 31st birthday!

You never ask for much, you give your all... and there's nothing in the world we wouldn't do for you to show you how much we love you back!