Monday, April 30, 2007

Happy Birthday, Jonathan

Well, it's official. Our "baby" is now four years old. His birthday was on Saturday, and not a moment too soon. I say this because we have had to listen to him talk nonstop about his birthday party for the past two months. His guest list changed from day to day, but he was always sure that it would be a "car" party. Jonathan LOVES cars. Anything with wheels, actually. And he loves the movie Cars. So at his party, we had a Lightning McQueen cake (made by Karen.) The kids hunted for matchbox cars in the front yard (a great goodie bag item), and watched Cars. This was by far the easiest party I've ever done. We only had 8 kids (including my three), and they were easily entertained! The adults (both sets of grandparents, honorary grandmother Gretchen, and parents of the kids) got to relax and talk while the movie was playing. Best of all, Jonathan was happy.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Disney Half Marathon

Back in January, I ran the Disney half marathon. I signed up for it in August, as a way to keep my exercise on track while I started working two days a week. I figured if I had a goal I would keep up the exercise (which meant getting up at 5:30 at least twice a week). Running works well because it can be done anytime, anywhere, unlike the step aerobic classes I had been taking.

After I had registered, I found out the race starts at 6AM, which means I had to be to the start line at 4AM!!! Ugh. Somehow I managed to get a decent night's sleep,was up at 4, and made it to the start line at 4:20. When I arrived, I realized how large 16,000 people is. The line went on forever (see picture of the start line, above). In fact, I didn't cross the start until 10 minutes after the first runners began.

The course was fun - we began at EPCOT, ran to Magic Kingdom, then back to EPCOT. All along the way, there were characters, bands, and cheering onlookers. The best part was when we ran through Cinderella's castle and down Main Street. The worst part was when I realized that meant I was only halfway finished. I made it, though, with a respectable time of just under 2 1/2 hours. Later, when I checked all the times, I realized that put me in the top 25%. That is not a reflection of my speed, merely a reflection of how many recreational runners were in the field. It still made me feel good.

Now, a glutton for punishment, I am training for Grandma's Marathon held in Duluth, MN. My brother Dave is running the full marathon, while I will do the half. I've been increasing my mileage, and hopefully my speed, too. A friend gave me the coolest watch that has a GPS unit on it, so I can track my distance. No more driving my routes in order to get the correct mileage! It also calculates how many calories I burn...all the more I can eat that day!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Easter Pictures

Most of the country had a cool Easter, and Florida was no exception. To us, the 50 degree morning felt like Easter in the Northeast. We went to church in the morning (first picture) and then to the Weinrich's house for dinner. The Martin cousins Jack, Katy, and Joey (plus their parents Cindi and Tom) were here for the week. Here all the kids were ready for an egg hunt we had in their backyard. After a delicious dinner, we went to the grill for our annual "grilling of the peeps." Every year, we take those disgustingly sweet chicks and grill them just like marshmallows. Then we add chocolate and graham crackers and make s'mores! Peeps grill better than marshmallows - the sugar coating becomes hard, while the inside melts. Just delicious! It's our favorite Easter tradition.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Chip off the old block

Why is it our children take on the traits of ours we dislike the most? Benjamin showed it off this afternoon. He has inherited his mother's competitiveness and tendency to be a poor loser. After playing Ticket to Ride this afternoon (against Alexander, Chris, and Jeff Wedge), Benjamin came in last. He proceded to hide behind the shed outside, crying and moping around for an hour. Now, while I have never had to hide after losing, I have been known to be a poor loser, especially while playing games like Settlers of Catan. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.