I is for . . .

In remembrance of September 11th my sister and I wanted to do just a little something, in our own way, to remember that dark, dark day . . . to honor the dead. . .to honor the living. . .to Remember. 


Since she is a runner ~ you can tell because of the hat ~ she suggested we run 9.11 miles. . . and because I am a glutton for punishment I said,Okay!”

. . .So we did. . .

We ran, we laughed,  we talked and we remembered. . .9.11 miles

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Something Bee-ish

I went running this morning. The circles and arrows are still in the road but the rain is finally fading them. Things have settled down around here finally and people are starting to get back to a normal life.

Shuuuu, that was really creepy!
When I run, I take one of my kids I-pods with me to listen to and check up on the things they are listening to…….Today I took Kathryn’s. She had her favorite songs from the girl bands she likes and some songs Matthew and Stephen like. But, the thing that really stopped me in my tracks was the Catholic Apologists she had on there. I could not help but completely stop, turn around to see who was talking to me and then smile when I realized it was John Martignoni and Catholic Answers.
I wondered….. is that for me?? Or what??
..…I will tell you my kids know much more then I do or ever have about our Catholic faith. They teach me so much every day………Who wouldn’t be happy with this life I lead? There are many shaky moments in this very busy life but, it is good.
Don’t worry ~ my kids do have a sense of normalcy…As I sit and type Kathryn and Stephen are arguing about something silly. Matthew is at his Spanish class and is shall I say….. indignant we can’t have his friend spend the night this weekend because of a debate workshop he really needs to go to…..


He demands to know “WHY!?!”

I really don’t have an answer for him just simply; I think he should go… I think that is good enough. I don’t expect him to be the top debater. I don’t even expect him to come in the top 20. I just think it will help him in ((gulp)) college, which is coming all to fast for me. It seems when you home school you have to prove yourself to the secular world, which makes us work harder. I have to laugh……because it is all good for us.


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Why does it seem everything happens at once?
This weekend my cousin and her family, Jen, Charlie and the kids , are coming in from San Diego. They will be staying with Jen’s mother of course and It turns out….Auntie’s neighbor has graciously offered her deceased sister’s condo for Auntie or Jen to stay in while the family is here. This condo is right across the hall from Aunties two bedroom home. How nice of this woman to offer.…
Jim is home with his love, hanging in and progressing after the stroke. Karen, Joey and Anthony are coming down this weekend too and we have a busy weekend planned with dinner with friends, the debate work shop and the boys are digging out a ditch for Grandpa so he can lay pipes from the old well to the pool house.
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According to Matthew: “there are black berries to pick for the wine, fields to clear for the grapes, pipes to lay for Grandpa, a Spanish exam to study for and Bees to tend too. He just does not have time for all this….company and worse!! Debate stuff!”



I don’t think I have told you about the Bee’s…

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It turns out Stupid Rick is really not that stupid after all. Well, some days…he is really stupid and then some days He is not that stupid . Huuuu? Who knew? I don’t want to give him too much credit!


He is into many things and he is including our sons into his hobbies. I just find this all so amazing. To think, he would want to be bothered with all this teaching he is doing with our sons…..A couple of weeks ago he took Matthew and Stephen to a three day seminar at Clemson University to study Bees.

The boys loved it! They where up before 6 a.m. and out the door by 6:45. The three of them could not wait to get to class. They could not wait to get there hands dirty and into their new projects. It was all so exciting to see.
We are reading and studying Bee books now. I think we will take this opportunity to study Bees as our science this year for Stephen and Kathryn. There is so much to learn when it comes to bees. It is just amazing!

Rick has been kind enough to call the boys when he will be working with the bees and always includes them when he is doing something like; finding the swarm, extracting honey or something Bee-ish.

Where’s the Chocolate??

It has taken me a long time to accept ~ I have to run to get back into shape……….because let’s face it……the way the economy is going for “us” ((the nation as a whole)) it will be a long time before I can play Karate again.

The acceptance of just liking to run has been hard for me………..actually I hate running. I would much rather go to a really hard and long sparing class………….I remember many Saturday mornings walking of the mat bleeding, hurt and in pain….and someone would say Wow! That was a great class…….. Everyone would nod their heads in agreement and say “YAY!!”

I have been trying to run for quite a long time now……maybe 2 1/2 years …… and my resistance to running has taken it’s toil on me. However, I have decided…… I have to like it………..almost as much as I like chocolate.

Okay……. Not that much.

But, I love to have Ice Cream for dinner.

AND

If I am going to have Ice Cream for dinner, I have to exercise. Right now that exercise has to be running.

So, I have been trying……….I have been drinking my water and eating right……..Well, most of the time. I am trying to take care of myself for many reasons………..The biggest is my father, who has cancer and has survived much longer then the doctors ever imagined he would……….One of the things he contributes his survival to is exercise……….He has always and still does exercise even on his sick days.

AND

CANCER STINKS!! IT REALLY DOES!

Over the past three years, I have struggled with these big issues; I am not as physically fit as I was BFME……..that is……BeFore Mary Elizabeth. It has taken me a long time to accept………I have a long way to go from pre-baby……..to post-baby…………even though she will be 3 next month.

And SO, I have struggled!

I think I am getting there. I think I have convinced myself……….It is okay to be where I am and I am learning to like “the” running and not pout about it “all” so much.

So here I am…………With my “I love exercise Finnell Grin”

………We have a secret……..”We” the Finnell’s and the Advent’s are far from being athletes…..all we do is……”TRY“. We pick a sport we like or in my case right now……. can tolerate and learn to like it. Then, we give it our all. We are not fast…………We persevere…….We work through the humiliation of always being last. We work through the pain of what ever it is that hurts and we just ‘do it’. We put our hearts into it and get the job done.

And

We do it with a Grin……….My sister and I have named it “That Finnell Grin”

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So anyway, I have been getting up really early……..I mean really early and getting out there. The sun comes up at six. I have my shoes on. I am ready to go with my phone and my daughter’s I-pod………… I am excited about seeing how long the miles will take me and what my plan of action is for the day…………..I am trying to increase my mileage and cut down on my time.

It is fun right??????

That was until Monday morning……….I was going by my neighbors house……..I should tell you, he has JUST started running again after 1o, 12 maybe he said 15 years…….. I forget………..the most important thing here………. IS………… HE! SMOKES!! He smokes!…………..He just started running and he smokes……..

Okay ya……..Good for him, right?? ~ Maybe he will cut down on his smoking and all that great stuff. He will be healthy AND we all have to start some where. RIGHT??

It was about 7:00 am……..and I had been running for about an hour. He sees me and says, “Why don’t you run with me to the top of the hill?…….It is only a mile. I am just trying to run a mile.”
Being the nice, caring, encouraging person that I am ~ I said, “Okay” I have 10 more minutes……..I can do that.

He says, “Let’s go!”

He takes off……………..He “smokes” me…………..He “smokes” me!! I am way behind……..huffing and puffing and starting to cough like the smoker HE IS……….my asthma is starting to kick in……….. I can’t breath……….I can’t stop coughing.

I can only say………THANK GOD! My phone rang and it was a customer……..I had to stop to answer my cell phone……..out of breath……….I got to tell this guy……….”I am running and that is why I am sooooo out of breath and please forgive me………could you please call my husbands phone and he will be able to help you.” …………..

I didn’t tell this guy………I was losing badly to my neighbor who just started running like 2 days ago and by the way he smokes………….

BUT! there is good news “he” can run a 9………..I said a 9 minute mile…………and he smokes………and he just started running again…….He has gone from doing nothing……..NOTHING!! to running a 10 minute mile….now down to a 9…….and he beat me…… bad!!

Stupid Rick!!

Where’s the chocolate???

Oh! The good news…………..Today ………He has shaved 12 seconds of his time…………..Stupid Rick!

I only have 1 hour

It has been a busy week running here and there and everywhere. There is so much to do with school and all the end of the year “outside” programs that we are involved in.

Debate is ending this weekend………THANK GOD! There is so much to do when it comes to debate. We do it because it is a GREAT class and Matthew learns so much from it. It is a political science, economic, history and debate class rolled into one……There is always a tremendous amount of learning going on for everyone; from the debaters, to the parent judges, and the sibling timers.

It really is amazing. You can’t walk out of one of these debates without saying……..hhhhhuuuuuu…..What did he say?

If you home school get your high school students into one of these classes and make them go. Take them kicking and screaming if you have too. It really is worth it. You will feel dumber then you ever have in your life but I tell you, they will learn so much.This program is called the National Forensic League of Debaters, it is all over the county and a remarkable class.

Next year it is Stephen’s turn to start……I will be dragging, my by then 15 year old 6 ft 4 in., son all the way to get him there, but he will go.

He will be mad as anything. He will fight every Wednesday. I don’t care. I will sit in the class with him if I have too. If there is one thing I am it is determined and tough. (okay that’s two things)………. I believe in this class that much. We will get the job done and he will be the better for it.

Tomorrow we have a big debate tournament……….It will be all day from 8 to 8. And then, I think it is over, for this year. I hope!

I did not come here tonight to talk about debate and school.

I came to talk about working out and feeling frustrated.

I am trying to workout HARD again. Like I use too. I am trying to do a lot of things…….just for an hour. Unless that hour is in the middle of the night, it goes by so fast and it is so hard to get anything done.

You would think all I have to do is get ready and go.

Not so easy! I find getting out and staying focused very hard. There are always obstacles…………such as kids, the phone or people I know stopping to say hello.

I try to get up very early to get a workout in but sometimes Mary Elizabeth is up so much at night I can’t move in the morning. Some nights, I wake up and find her curled up in the middle of my back…..I think how did she get in here? Then I remember…… I let her in……..I know…..but we get so tired. We just roll over, pull her in……and hope for to get back to sleep.

Those are the days I try to fit a workout in after school with the kids or even sometimes at the end of the day.

When this happens:

I have to take my phone in case it rings with work for our business. I have to handle the calls and it does not matter where I am. I have to be ready to take down all the important information needed. I am the secretary in this operation and this is my job.

Working out or not.

Then there is always the friendly neighbor or passer bye that wants to stop me to say, “Hello”. How are you? And “What are you doing out on the road?” “How far do you go?” I tell them, ” I set my timer for an hour……..that is all the time I can give myself.” I want to tell them……..”GEEE?? I really need to get going…..your holding me up…….don’t you see I’m trying to get a workout in? What’s wrong with you?”

Then there are my kids;

I don’t care what time of day it is they want to come………..Yes! It is great! They want to be with me and I am “so happy”. How many 16, 14 and 12 year old kids do you know that want to hang out with their mom? As Liz says “I’m so happy”…….. well……. kind of.

But, not so much when I want to workout.

I have always taken my kids with me any were I go from the time they where very little. When I played at the Karate School, we took classes together. I also helped teach their classes. I was always there with them, they where always there with me.

Now things are different, they are older and we are not at Karate right now. We as a family are running………or trying to run. I try to get the kids out with me and make it a thing we can all do together.

Maybe it is home school……..I don’t know. But sometimes, I just want a little space…..to run and listen to something on an I-pod….(not even mine or my music….. I wouldn’t even know what to listen to if I had my own.) I just want to listen to what my kids have on their I pods and run……..there have been a few times I would come home and tell my son to take this song off and I will ask him, do you really want this in your life?

Stephen goes great guns in the beginning. But, then I find myself slowing “up” to drag him along. I don’t want to do this………I really just want to go.

There is Elizabeth. She wants to run too. When I put her in the stroller she tries to climb out. She wants to walk. She tells me she is big now. She is 2.5. When I have her in the stroller, I worry about cars coming to close to us. I worry about having to get out of the way while the cars go rushing by. Now, I have put her in a back pack………I’m caring 28 pounds on my back just so I can get a decent workout in………..people are telling me……….Oh! you shouldn’t do that……….you will hurt this or that……..But……… If your a mother then you know……these are the things we have to do.

Like today, I got up early to run……..by myself……….my 12 year old heard me up and around. She came down to see what I was up so early to do…..and asked me if I was going running. I told her I was and asked her if she wanted to go. She told me that is why she got up so early.

GRRREAT! I thought.

We started easy. I wanted to keep it kind of light………she is only 12. BUT! I go for one hour and then I come home.

She knows that.

Ten minutes goes by, she says…….”How long has it been? Oh, 10 minutes? It seems longer.” I tell her, we can turn back and I will be happy to let her go in and wait until everyone wakes up but just be quite. Start reading your book for school.

She says “No…..I’ll stay.”

We run some more………..then start walking……….ugggggggg! I only have an hour I think to myself. We run………..she complains about her…..foot, ankle, knee, shins, elbow, nose, finger, eyelashes……we walk…….ugggg! I asked her again……….do you want to turn around and then I can finish myself………NO!

This goes on for the full hour.

I say things like……..are you in pain? NO. Is it an ache? NO. Do we need to go home? NO.

NO. NO. NO.

UUUGGGG! I only have an hour to get this done………..

The hour ends………we walk towards the house.

Thinking ~ Boy that was not what I wanted today……we start to go in. As we get to the door She stops me, gives me a hug and says “THANKS MOM, I Really love going running with you.”

GEEEE! Now I feel bad………….It is only an hour………… For her, I should have a life time. I have to learn to stop and realize my time with her is only for a short while and most of all………..It is only a run. .
One day I will have more then an hour to do whatever I want. I must remember not to rush things so much. Take my time and enjoy my hour run with my daughter.