Friday, August 31, 2012

Cross Country Meet

This year, for the first time, three of our children are participating in a homeschool cross country team.  When I was their age I would have considered it a fate worse than death to have to run long distance races.  As a basketball player and sprinter on our track team, I stood in awe of my classmates who actually *wanted* to run long distances, and now I have three children who are doing just that.

Actually, come to think of it, even I have taken a liking to running long(er) distances... who'd-of-thunk-it?

Yesterday was a red letter day here... it was Tom's birthday *and* the very first cross country invitational meet for our children.  

As it would turn out... the weather was super-hot yesterday~ all of 95 degrees.  I was hot just watching them... as I stood in the shade!  Wow!

This was such a large invitational meet (14 teams, I believe) that there was a separate race for the 7th graders.  That meant that Joshua could compete in this meet.  He was *so* excited!  (He's #704)

When I was younger, we'll just say a *few* years ago~ my parents sacrificed their schedule to attend every basketball game, volleyball game and track meet that I participated in.  While I was certainly grateful for their support, I never really "got" how much fun it was to cheer for your children as they worked and competed in sporting events.  I get it now.

I would have been bursting-with-pride either way, but it was especially fun to see Joshua win a medal in his 7th grade race!

 Caleb was next up, running with the 8th graders... (#709)

 Silly boy... I think he had too much energy left at the end of the race!

And finally, the senior high girls were up.  Abbie next!  (#700)  She is on the far right in this pic.

It was interesting for me to watch the children and cheer for them and also think about the big half IronMan triathlon that I have been training so long for.  It struck me that possibly, just possibly the Lord is pleased with me and is proud to "cheer for me" just because He is my Father.  Just like I am *so* proud of my children for simply being them.  They don't have to be olympians or win medals for me to enjoy watching them compete....

I don't have to win my age group or qualify for national championships in order for Him to be pleased with me.  It is easy for me to see that with my children, but harder for me to view myself that way.  Certainly I want to strive for excellence in all of my triathlon training, but the fact is that there are limitations to what I can do.  If I am able to stay injury-free and continue to train and compete next year I anticipate that I will improve in all three sports.

I can rejoice in what I *can* do now and enjoy this whole process and most likely my precious Savior is happy with watching me as well~ even though I may never win anything.

Abbie was such a trooper!  The senior high girls had a longer course than either of our boys did~ and on such a hot day.  I was inspired just watching all of my racers!

Aren't you glad that the Lord shows up for all of your "meets" and is cheering for you?

"running the race with endurance..."   Heb.12:1

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Coming up for air, and a vacation recap....

Did anyone ever tell you that homeschooling gets easier as the children get older?  They lied.  I'm smiling (now!) as I type this, but being honest that as committed as I am to investing in our children it's just plain hard sometimes.  But this I do know, God is good and sufficient.  His grace is enough.

After a week and a half of grinding away at our new routine in a new school year, I do think that today went better.  

On to a photographic recap of our recent family vacation to Colorado.  What a trip it was!  Almost every day I got up early to squeeze in my Ironman preparation workouts before we left to spend the rest of the day either trail running or hiking with the children.  

Here's our 15 passenger van all decked out and ready to go.  Have you ever seen a vehicle with two car-top carriers?  Me either!  Pretty funny!  

In the interest of saving a bit of money, we decided to get up early and drive the whole way in one day.  The adventure of traveling is one of my all-time favorite things to do.  Tom likes to drive (or more accurately doesn't like to be a passenger), so that leaves me with nothing to do for the whole drive.   I *never* have nothing to do in my "normal life"~ what fun!

The sunrise viewed in the rearview mirror as we traveled West.  

I love even "boring" Kansas~ the big sky out West captivates me.

Gabriel brought his GoPro~ *love* the wide angle effect of that lens!

 So yeah, that's me taking photos of.... tree bark...  : )

Gotta' love me some flare....

One of the best things about this trip was that not only did we get to spend time with my parents, but my brother and his son were with us as well.  The children had *so* much fun with their cousin.

A self-portrait Gabe took with his GoPro (and me with my iPhone in the background...)

So many pretty rocks and so little pocket space... 

Not only did we maintain a break-neck pace the whole week that we were gone, but we also had the dubious honor of making not one, but two trips to Urgent Care.  First Jonathan had to get 12 stitches after a carving accident, then later in the week he ended up getting some sort of stomach virus and got pretty dehydrated.  Once he was given 2 liters of IV fluids he was a different boy.  Poor kid!  I snapped this pic once he felt better~ check out that popsicle!

 Tom being silly with something that we found while hiking.  I think a goatee might look pretty good on him!

So yeah, there's that super-cool bark...

 *Love* this photo of Tom and Tim!

We saw so much wildlife on this trip.  I posted a bunch of those photos here.

Boys and water... they just couldn't stay out.  It didn't matter that it had been snow only hours before. Brrrrrr.....

Tom and I

Dan checking out the view on Trail Ridge Road.

Pretty much the whole crew... including Nate and new wife Jamie + cousin Brenden.

 This little guy was obviously used to getting handouts!

The younger boys carefully filled out booklets to become "Junior Rangers." Here they are taking their Junior Ranger oath.  Pretty fun!

So many memories made... so much fun crammed into one week. My heart wells with gratefulness as I review these photos.

Tom chauffeuring us home...

Rejoicing in the good memories, but getting back to work here....