Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A pretty good day

This morning I was a little rushed for time and had to get in my walk before I met Noah at his school for lunch. I was able to do 3 miles in 42 minutes. That my be slow for many of you, but it's pretty good for me, and I felt great afterwards!

Now, tomorrow I am doing my long walk... 15 miles. With different things going on this week, it works out best that I go ahead and do it tomorrow instead of Friday like I was planning. I hope I'm ready for it. It is supposed to rain again, but I hope it's not as bad as it was last week... that would stink. Wish me luck!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring is fabulous!!

Everything is in bloom around here right now and it's wonderful to be outside, that is as long as you don't have allergies! I usually have my camera with me anyway, but lately have made a point to try and capture the beauty of our surroundings. I love Spring!! Today the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and big fat bumblebees were flying around everywhere. It's just amazing to think of how things look now compared to just a few weeks ago.

I took this a few weeks ago because the blooms remind us of "popcorn" and we sing the "Popcorn Popping" song when we see them.

Here are the same trees a couple of weeks later starting to lose the blooms and get the leaves.

And this was taken today of the same trees. All the blooms are gone and the leaves are so lush and green. These trees have fascinated me the last several weeks and it's been fun to watch them change.
I can't get enough of the beautiful flowering trees.

The beautiful white blooms are gorgeous.

I took a picture of this lovely a couple of weeks ago at a park nearby.

I have to remind Lily not to pick the neighbors flowers, but she can't help herself. And, I know that all little girls loves to pick flowers because I remember loving to pick them when I was a little girl and giving them to my Mom.

True to her name, Lily loves flowers!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Rain, rain, go away....

This is what it looked like when I got to the park this morning to do my long walk. It was raining pretty hard and the parking lot was empty. The parking lot is usually half full on most mornings when I'm there, so I immediately thought I must be the only crazy person out there that is willing to walk in the rain. I knew the forecast had rain in it, but I was thinking it would stop soon because it had been raining for 2 hours already.... Heck, it's been raining for 2 days already! So, I sat there for awhile waiting for it to stop...

This is what it looked like after 30 minutes of sitting in the car waiting for the rain to stop. It was raining harder then when I first got there! So, I finally decided I just needed to get out there and do it because my time was ticking away. I had this block of time planned for my long walk and all of the kids were taken care of in order for me to do this.... so I just had to do it. There was no way I could do 13 miles on a treadmill so I sucked it up and started walking.

It was miserable! In the first hour I thought about quitting so many times. Everything felt wrong, I couldn't get into my groove, and I didn't know how I was going to get through 13 miles of this. But, I hung in there and after the first hour I got used to being uncomfortable. It turns out I wasn't the only crazy person out there braving the elements, there were 2 others.

It finally stopped raining about 45 minutes before I finished my walk and I did 13 miles in 3:15. I wanted to have a better time, but I'm happy with that considering the weather. And, now I know what it will be like if it rains on race day.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My husband is so sweet!

I was completely and totally surprised to receive flowers from Travis today. I think the folks at Brenda's House of Flowers know us pretty well by now because they've delivered flowers to us several times during this deployment.

It was exciting opening the card to find out what the occasion was for getting these. So with Nana, Lily, and Katy standing there waiting, I read the card: "Can you pick me up at the airport on April 25th?" I screamed Ahhhhh and jumped up and down, so Lily did too.

I think it's awesome that Travis is coming home a week earlier! I can't wait!!

Travis thought that since I already had a bunch of vases that I didn't need another one. These came in a bunch and I had to arrange them myself. It wasn't quite as easy as I thought it would be and it took a few minutes, but it was fun. Lily was a big helper.

Travis created a monster when he sent Lily flowers for her birthday because she REALLY wanted to have some of these for herself. Good thing we had another vase just the right size for her to have a some flowers too.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

42 days 'til Travis and 53 days 'til Cleveland

I have decided it's safe to start blogging about my training to walk the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon on May 17th. I have been training for more than 3 months and there's no going back now! My training has been going really well. I can see and feel definite changes in me since I started in that I'm getting faster and feel stronger. I did a 5 mile walk today in 1:10 and it felt really good.

So, why in the heck would I want to walk a marathon? Well, when I turned 40 I made a goal that I would complete a marathon.... well, attempt to anyway. It's something I feel the need to do; to start the process, train for it, and to see it through. I want to feel like I have accomplished something that is challenging. I guess it's a mid life thing too.... I want to be healthier.

I'm not a runner. I've tried it and I'm just not comfortable doing it for very long. But, I enjoy walking and I want the challenge of the marathon distance. I do plan to run some though because I want to finish it before they shut everything down and everyone goes home.

Travis is running the marathon and I'm sure he will finish in time to take a shower, eat lunch, and a quick nap before I'm done. He assured me though that he will be there to help me finish if I need it. I'm sure I will need lots of moral support and encouragement before it's over. Then lots of pain reliever.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Silly boys!

I went to eat lunch with Noah at school today. Noah got to pick a friend to eat with us and we sat on the stage with the other kids and their parents. So, Noah picked his friend David and they were being silly. David would burp and elbow Noah and say "he did it." Then they would both laugh.

I took Lily with me and she was in heaven being there with all the kids, getting to eat lunch off of a tray, and getting to sit on the stage. She mentioned that we were on a stage more than once. And before we left she couldn't resist wrapping herself up in the big, thick, blue stage curtain.

The neighborhood girls...

On most days there are lots of little friends in the neighborhood for Lily to play with. Today we were all outside enjoying the wonderful weather and the girls just looked so cute running around in a little pack. I hang out and chat with their mother Shauna while the kids play. They were picking flowers and playing with rocks. Oh, to be a child again.

Kaylin, Katy, Lily, and Angel

Cheesing it up.

Here they are showing me all of the rocks they collected.

This is Lily telling me she doesn't want me to take anymore pictures.

What do you do with kumquats?

I bought some kumquats the other day because I've never had any before and wanted to try them. And, my Mom was saying when she was a little girl they had a kumquat tree and they used to eat them right off the tree. Well, they are yuck! The kids didn't like them either. Mom didn't remember them tasting that way....

Does anyone have any ideas or know what I can do with them? I hate to just toss them out.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

For Grandpa Tom

The other night Grandpa Tom was telling me how much he enjoyed my blog and all of the pictures and stories about the kids. He especially enjoyed the little video of Lily and would like to see more stuff like that. So, I thought I would see what other videos I had that I could post for him.

This is from Lily's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheeses. The little girl Lily is holding hands with is her cousin Molly.

A few pictures from the park

Katy is fearless already.. she loves the slide.

She went down another slide and kind of flipped over at the bottom and as I was shrieking "Katy!"... she was laughing..

Lily climbing the rock wall.

"Mommy look at me!"

It was so nice having Noah at the park with us because he was such a big help with the girls. I was actually able to relax a bit and not have to try to run after both of the girls at the same time.

Saturday afternoon fun...

I took the kids to the park and to play miniature golf. Noah took his game very seriously! He got VERY frustrated if it took him more than 2 or 3 shots max to get the ball in.

Noah wanted to line up all the shots...

He reminds me of his cousin Tanner. I was thinking about how a few years ago when we were in FL and we went to play mini golf and how Tanner took it very seriously too. Noah was around Lily's age, maybe a little older and he was more interested in climbing on the animals or playing in the water.

Lily started off trying to play the first 2 or 3 holes and then she lost interest and started wandering around.... luckily we had the whole place to ourselves and there was no one to bother.

"Where is my pink ball?"

"I've got something in my shoe."

Lily thought it was funny posing by the rhino's bottom. We have a book called Peanut Butter Rhino, where the rhino makes a peanut butter sandwich for his lunch, but he accidentally sits on it (SQUISH) while he's packing his lunch box.... then he can't find it. Lily loves that book!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

NPR's Talk of the Nation airs show about the Big Love controversy

My brother, Daniel Stout, was a guest on Talk of the Nation today on NPR. They were discussing the recent episode of Big Love that has been so controversial. It was a great segment and I thought Dan did an excellent job!! I'm so proud of him! If you get a chance then take a few minutes and check it out:


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Where a kid can be a kid....

We had Lily's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheeses today and it was a lot of fun. We had a family party and all of her cousins were there. The kids played games, had pizza, and the fun really started when Chuck E. himself came out and danced for everyone and took pictures. Lily just loved it! Tate loved it too, he got up a danced several times.

Flat Daddy received lots of attention today. Several people either asked about him, or shared an experience of being deployed or having loved ones that are deployed. One gentleman asked me if that was my husband who was over there and when I said yes, he said "thank you... thank you for what you do!" It always chokes me up when people say how much things like that.

Lily liked this so much at first but then had enough and asked if she could get off before the ride was over.
Lily and Sam

Lily couldn't understand why she couldn't climb behind there too.

The birthday girl!!

Flat Travis and CEC
We all knew Tanner couldn't wait to have his picture taken with CEC!
Tate enjoying some cake with Flat Travis.
Tate dancing around... it was fun to watch him having so much fun.
Good times!
More good times!

Katy and Flat Daddy waiting for everyone to finish up.