Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Parenting is Tough

Today has been one of the most difficult days I have ever had as a parent, one of those that makes me go "God what were you thinking when you decided to give me kids."

First there is Maddox's stunt... Madison had just cleaned her room, and it was spotless, I checked. While Maddox was supposed to be resting in his room he apparently had better plans. . . he went into his sister's room and completely destroyed it. The strung all her clothes from the hamper across the floor, threw shoes out of the closet, pulled books off the shelves, unmade her bed, and cleared her night stand onto the floor. I was only later alerted to this when Madison went to her room and shrieked "Maddox! Did you do this to my room." His reply was a nonchalant shrug...

...my reply was a bit more, shall we say colorful. In the end he cleaned it all up, and apologized. His only explanation for why. . . "Sister is always mean to me."
This is true, and while I originally thought he was being vindictive, I have come to think that he is just a 5 year old boy who loves his sister beyond words, and is extremely frustrated with how she treats him. He, being quite witty, chose the one thing that would get her in the most trouble. He knows that she has to have her room clean to go to a friends, and that she told both her dad and I that it was clean, so it would have been a double whammy! Not doing her chores AND lieing.

I have to say that Madison was pretty sweet about it all, I had called her in to tell her brother exactly what needed put where and she kept trying to go easy on him. When he had finished, and had given her is tearful, heartbreaking apology, she took him by the hand and they went to pray together and ask God to forgive him too. This about broke my heart.

My second episode came just a few short hours later... Madison and her buddy had worked hard all day getting Madison's required cores done, so she could go spend the night. When the mom came to pick them up, I was reminded that I needed her to come home by a certain time the next day. Madison's whole affect dropped into pouty teenager. {the first mistake} Then I found out the girls had been planning to go over and do chores and get paid and go shopping. The problem with this second part is quite complex... we don't pay for chores, they are a responsibility as a member of the family, AND I had just taken the dynamic duo shopping the night before. But the biggest issue was the part where their whole agenda was kept secretive, Madison knew I wouldn't be ok with it so she didn't bother to tell me.

Consequence... no sleep over. This was a particularly difficult consequence for me to dole out as it had the potential to cause some tension and conflict, after all Madison's punishment doesn't just impact her.

And because the sky opened up today and decided to dump a bunch of s*** on me, this one little decision to not be upfront has done just that... tension and conflict has sprouted up in my friendship with this mom {who is a really good friend}, taking hold and settling in my stomach, I feel like vomiting {I don't like conflict AT ALL}.

The really ironic thing about this is Allison just blogged this about parenting, how we all have different parenting styles, and we should have a little more trust in our fellow humans. And since I am a big girl now I will need to buck up and handle this conflict rationally, sans emotions. Because, while my friendships are so important to me, my husband's opinion and support for how we parent is the only opinion I need to value.

Learned: In the midst of all this I really only needed to know that I had done what B thought to be right, as soon as he said he supported it it made the rest bearable.

Cleaning Out the Camera

We took our nice Nikon camera to Steamboat with us, but after two pictures...

the battery died. In an effort to prevent a repeat of this in Idaho, I thought I'd better charge it up and see what treasures were stored away in its memory.

First I found some great pictures of a Desert Bighorn Sheep. We came upon this little guy on our way to hike Bangs Canyon early this summer. Our hike was great, and the kids splashed around in the creek that runs through the bottom of the canyon. Of course the camera got forgotten in the car for the hike, but at least they captured this guy.

Second were a few pictures of a bird that landed in our window. Madison was able to catch it and let it go outside. We were all really amazed that the bird didn't freak out or even flutter it's wings while she petted it and took it into her hands.

I also found some more pictures of Maddox's preschool graduation. I especially enjoyed seeing his funny faces, and the wide open mouths of the other kids singing their little hearts out.

Finally there were a few pics of Maddox's 5th birthday. These were of the impromptu cake he had on his birthday, when we were supposed to head to Denver for the zoo but he came down with an ear infection. We just couldn't go with out celebrating since we were home anyway.

Steamboat Mountain Tournament

When we found out we would be playing in a tournament in Steamboat, I was so happy. I love Steamboat, next to Telluride it is one of the most beautiful cities in Colorado. I could live there, but it is such a huge tourist town I don't think I could handle all the people.

Because it is a tourist town the hotel the team stayed at was almost $200/night... totaling almost $600 for the weekend. With our big family vacation coming up, we opted to take our pop-up and camp in a campground. This was perfect for us because Maddox could run around and play, and the weather was almost perfect... just a tincy bit hot in the afternoon, but the night was cool and crisp. The only downer was the amount of mosquitoes. Maddox and I got eaten alive!

I think if I lived there I would run every day... Anne and I took a morning run along the Yampa, and it was absolutely beautiful. I expected to be gasping for air because of the elevation, but it wasn't so bad...or we were compensating by running really slow! It was also quite communal; there were so many other people out running and biking on the trail, it was energizing to be amongst others of like running minds. The run also passes the botanical gardens which was amazingly luscious and bursting with color, heck I could have run laps through the gardens for an hour and been captivated by it's beauty the whole time.

Enough about my love affair with Steamboat, and on to the real reason for this post... the soccer tournament...

This last soccer season has been, well, trying... to say the least. But we have had new hope with a new coach coming on to the team. The little bit that we have watched at practice and from what Madison has said, that hope has been sustained. He is actually doing conditioning with the girls AND teaching them situational soccer, explaining how a drill they do in practice helps them in a game. I really didn't know what to expect coming into the tournament, and I am happy to say the difference this coach has made in just a few weeks is day and night! The whole team looked amazing! They played with a confidence and fire I haven't seen in over a year.

Madison's friend Tia, is our forward, and in the past year she hasn't scored but 1 or 2 goals; in this tournament she scored at lest 6 or 7 in the 5 games we played. Our middies and wings did an amazing job getting the ball up to her, and their defence was impenetrable (the one goal scored on us was a questionable penalty kick).

Game 1 vs Storm 2-0 WIN
Game 2 vs Castle Rock 2-0 WIN
Game 3 vs Broomfield U11 2-0 WIN
Game 4 Semifinals vs Broomfield U12 2-0 WIN
Game 5 Finals vs Rapid City Rage (SD state champs) 3-1 TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS!

This weekend was also a big weekend for Madison, her confidence had been crushed by the previous coach, and she had gone from being the most aggressive defender and one of the best on the team to not starting. This was super frustrating for Brian and I (being we are both uber competitive) because we knew she was not playing to her potential. Madison, being the resilient young lady she is pulled herself up by the boot straps, got into a new pregame routine, and came out much improved. I am proud of her and am excited to see what this next season holds for her personal growth.

Learned: It's a bit early to be singing the new coach's praise, but I am amazed at the difference a coach can make... both for the team and for the individual.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Gym Day 3 & 4

We just came back from a great weekend in Steamboat, but I don't have time to blog about it now... instead the bare bones of my work outs at the gym last week and today.

Day 3: Barf Bowl Work Out. Ok, so it's not really called that, and neither of us barfed, but we did our fair share of complaining. This work out gets it name from the bowl that strongly resembles most people's barf bowls at home, but instead of barf it is filled with exercises. For the first half of our work out we drew an exercise and had to replace them. for the second half Janea was nice and let us keep them out until the bowl was empty, so no matter what we had to do every exercise twice.

The barf bowl contained the following exercises:
15 berpies (we did this one twice)
10 plyo jumps forward and 10 backward (3 times)
25 tricep dips (FOUR times)
50 Squats (twice)
1 1/2 Min Plank
25 sissy squat/back lunge each leg
1.5 min plyo skipping
15 push ups
20 Supermans
15 plyo roll ups
20 bicep curls with resistance bands

Day 4: Tepadas and whole body... though we were told it was upper body...
5 min warm up on elliptical at medium resistance
12 squat & Lat rows (started at 40 lbs, then upped it 10 lbs each time, ending with 100 lbs) alternating with 12 shoulder press (12 lbs for entire time)
12 "Fanny Lifters" with 15 lb weight followed by 12 forward dips back leg on bench (SAME LEG) then switch legs. Repeat with 8 reps.

Then HELL... I mean tepadas (I don't know if that's how you spell it, but that's how it sounds) Basically these are 4 minutes of interval work outs. For each 30 second interval you go as hard as you can for 20 seconds with a 10 second recovery, repeat 8 times. We did our first tepada on the elliptical at high resistance. The second on the tread mill at an incline of 15.

We ended with 1 min of plank.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gym Day 2

Before we headed to the gym Allison told me that we were going to figure body fat %, and I was dreading being pinched with that embarrassing tool... but thankfully technology has come out with a gadget that you just hold and it sends waves through your body to measure your fat. I don't really want to share my weight and body fat with the whole world (or the 2 of you that actually read this), but I wasn't shocked by either, and was happy to find that my body fat % was on the lower end of the normal range.

Today's work out focused on upper body, but there was plenty of leg work involved too.
Warm up on the stair stepper/elliptical machine (5 min)
Bis and Tris - wide bis, tri pull downs 3 sets of 16 each {discovered I am a weakling}
Push ups- bosu ball, against a squat bar, and floor.
Plea squats with weights(3 sets of 15)
Frog Jumps (3 sets of 15)
Back lung with sissy squat (never coming to full standing position.)
Pull ups (wide and narrow)
180 Mountain climbers
3 plank sets for 90 seconds

Yesterday was a very active day for me, before the gym I went on a run. I changed up my typical run a bit. After a mile warm up I ran the next mile pushing my pace to 8:30, then for the 2 miles home I did intervals, where I sprinted for 30 seconds then recovered.

Later in the evening we went to play tennis under the lights. I was really looking forward to playing for a few hours but a huge storm rolled in, and while we are water resistant, we are not lightning resistant, so we called it a night.

Monday, July 11, 2011

1 Samuel

This first book of Samuel follows the people of Israel from the birth of Samuel, the fall of Saul, and the rise of David; through out this whole time the nation of Israel are battling with the Philistines.

The first chapter begins with anguish and heartbreak... Hannah was unable to have children and was continually ridiculed by the other wives. Finally she couldn't take it anymore and cried out to God for a child, vowing to give the child to God. When Hannah gave birth to a son she named him Samuel {which sounds like the Hebrew word for "asked of God" or "heard by God". I love the how names in Hebrew have so much meaning.

Chapters 2-7 tell the story of the rise of Samuel to becoming Israel's Judge. When he is old enough Samuel goes to work in the temple with Eli. Eli is warned that his sons are committing evil and dishonoring God, but he does nothing. So God calls out to Samuel 3 times one night; he keeps thinking that it is Eli calling out to him. Finally Eli says it is God, when he calls you again tell him your servant is listening. God tells Samuel that because of Eli's sins and the sins of his sons, no sacrifice will ever redeem them, and the sons will be killed on the same day. This was interesting to me, continual blaspheme and defiling of the temple permanently removed this family from god... How do I honor God, How do I treat His temple? This comes to pass during a battle with the Philistine army, Phineas and Hophini are killed and the Arc is taken. A 98 year old blind man ran all the way from the battle to Eli to tell him of the news. I of course thought this was pretty cool! He's 98 and blind and runs for quite a distance, I don't know how far, but it says he arrived later that day. While the Arc is in the possession of the Philistines, they continue to find their gods lieing face down in front of the Arc. The city is struck with a plague, so they decide to send the Arc back with a guilt offering. Samuel then becomes judge of Israel and drives out the Philistines.

Chapters 8-13 are when Saul becomes king, but because of his disobedience his reign as king will be short. In these chapters the people of God demand a king, which breaks Samuele's heart, God tells him "they are not rejecting you they are rejecting me, they no longer want Me as their King." Samuel is shown that Saul will be king, he is tall and handsome, and again from the least family from the least tribe. To prove he is king Saul is given signs and prophecies. Saul lead a massive army to free Israel from the Amorites and with a decided victory, there is no doubt that Saul is meant to be king. Later, while fighting the Philistines, the Israeli people scatter at the sight of the Philistine's huge army. Saul is supposed to wait for Samuel to offer a sacrifice, but does not and offers his own. Because of this disobedience Saul is told that his reign will end, and a man after God's own heart will rise to be Israel's king.

The rest of 1 Samuel is a bit confusing chronologically for me; it seemed like David met Saul twice, as well as Samuel died twice... David is chosen to be king by Samuel and goes and plays music and serves Saul. Then there is the story of the bravery of David facing Goliath. We all have heard this story, but what struck me reading it this time was that David was so outraged at the blasphemy coming from Goliath that he takes the challenge, knocking him out with a stone then cutting off his head. David goes to live with Saul (see he meets him twice). For the remainder of the book Saul waffles between loving David and wanting to kill him, and David running around the wilderness freeing Israel from oppression and hiding for his life. David is given 2 chances to kill Saul, but each time spares his life, and Saul repents for trying to kill David, but then resumes his jealousy and begins to hunt David again.

In the final battle of the book against the Philistines Saul and his remaining 3 sons are killed. Saul is fatally wounded and in order to keep from being captured and tortured by the Philistines he falls on his own sword.

It saddened me that King Saul was so overcome with jealousy for David that it really corrupted and consumed him. He was even confronted by David who told him, Who am I that a king spends all these resources on finding and killing one man... It makes me think about how much I let other people get to me. Maybe they are complete strangers that just do stupid stuff and it annoys me, or an acquaintance that drives me to speak judgemental and harsh, or a friend that wounds me deeply. The truth in all of this is that humans are just that, human, fallen, corrupt with sin, only redeemed by Jesus. Even though we are redeemed, we have to continually work to not indulge our sinful nature. Only in God can I place full confidence, knowing He will never let me down. Knowing this to be true doesn't make it any easier to act upon, after all our only experience is that of being human...

Celebrating Our Independence Day

We went pretty low key for our celebration this year. We headed to the fireworks show at the country club with our friends Jason and Summer. I don't think Maddox had seen an aerial fireworks display that he would remember. It was so fun hearing the oohs and aahs from both my kids as they exploded in space.

The next night, for the actual 4th, we had a BBQ with Jason and Summer at our house. Later my mom and Dan {it was also their 7th wedding anniversary}, Dan's daughter Kara and her family, and my aunts Pepper and Penny all came over and we had quite the ground display of fireworks. Everyone brought over a huge bundle of fireworks.

Maddox was given a sit-n-spin from our neighbors, and he is loving playing on it. He spent almost the entire morning of the 4th on the thing. He gave us a good bout of laughter while riding it. So I just had to include the video of it!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Bit of Tennis with a Forever Friend

I have been blessed with some amazing friendships throughout my life. One of my longest standing friendships is with Jolene; we have been friends since we were in 6th grade... which is 20 years ago!

We always seem to have some crazy plan or idea... like the time we got creative making our own pencils: we took the soft leaded pencils and melted them into shapes, then danced around the back yard like pagans. I am sure my mom thought we were devil worshipers.

We played tennis in HS together, she was always a way better athlete than I, and had a much larger competitive appetite.

Our friendship has endured many storms; from arguing over the same boy to living hundreds of miles(and at times a half of a world) apart...

She moved back to town a few years ago and every summer since we have been all talk and no action about reliving the "glory days" -- playing doubles in the Taco Bell Open. This year we finally registered, which means we have been playing quite a bit of tennis- for us anyway. She convinced me to register us for the 3.5 division, then we ran into Fruita's coach who informed us that "there are some beasts in that division". Me always being the scardy cat, started to fret, while Jolene just laughed with her "bring it on" attitude.

Because most of our play has been against each other, we thought it wise to get in a few doubles matches before we actually go out and compete. Yesterday we played our old stomping ground's #2 doubles who will be seniors next year. It was a lot of fun playing on the same side of the ball, and it turns out we weren't too bad. We won the first set by the fuzz of the ball 6-6 with a tie breaker of 6-1. The second set we won quite decidedly 6-1... straigt sets!

The whole time we were playing it was like a time warp. That was us years ago, be it we were not quite so prim and proper as these two. The girls we played kept asking how long it has been since we have played seriously (not just hitting balls for fun)... it took us a minute to calculate...and when we did it was gut wrenching...14 years. I could hardly believe it has been that long.

We have plans to play doubles again before the tournament begins, and I have a bit of work to do (my first serves are horrendous... rarely going in), but it is so fun and nostalgic to be out on the courts with Jo.

Learned? A 14 year hiatus hasn't proved to wreak too much havoc on our tennis game, just hope we don't get slaughtered in a few weeks.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day 1 With A Personal Trainer

Allison has convinced me to join her 2 days a week at the gym and work out with her and her trainer. Today was our first day, and I must say that I would rather run 10 miles than go to the gym. When I run it becomes almost meditative, I get into a rhythm and, though I am sweating and breathing hard, I am not maxed out. But I guess that's the whole purpose of going to a trainer, they push you more than you would push yourself.

Now for the boring stuff... so I can remember some different exercises to do on my own after my month is over.

5 min on this elliptical type machine at a resistance of 40, had to keep cal/hr above 800.

5 min on the stair mill doing speed intervals.

Circuit 1:
Bench berpies (1 min): hop up on a bench/step, hop off, bend down to put hands on bench kick legs back to plank, jump legs back beside bench stand up and jump onto bench..

Push-ups 1 min).

Squat and toss (1 min): squats with tossing a medicine ball with each upward thrust.

Plank hold (1 min)

Circuit 2:
2 min cardio of: Squats (no weights), frog jumps, forward lunges, scissors.

Weighted squats (1 min)

Medicine ball twists (1 min) stand back to back with A, and hand of the medicine ball twisting side to side.

Circuit 3:
Sit squats (1 min) squat to sit on bench and then stand up.

Plyo squats (1 min): squat and hover just above bench then jump up out of squat onto the bench.

Squats sequence: Drop it low squats, down three up one, up three down 1, down up half way down up half way hold.

We did each circut 3 times then moved onto core.

Core work:
Superman: lay on stomach engage back muscles lifting arms and legs off floor, bring arms back and then forward, and back down.

Swimmer: lay on stomach engage back muscles lifting arms and legs off floor and "swim" rapidly bring arms and legs up and down.

Abs: random abs involving crunches.

Learned: As much as I felt like a wimp today, I know this cross training will be good for me, even if I only go for a month.

Smokin' Seventeen

Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum, #17)Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think having a break from these books is the key to enjoying them more. In typical fashion Stephanie has found herself in the middle of trouble. This time a serial killer is leaving dead bodies addressed to her. She has 3 people threatening and attempting to kill her and 3 men lusting after her. Of the "easy skips" she is supposed to bring in one thinks he's a vampire, another is never clothed. On top of it all Stephanie has been cursed by Morelli's Italian grandma which is proving to reek havoc on her skin and sex life.

In typical fashion, I laughed out loud throughout the book... a great sinful indulgence.

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Monday, July 4, 2011

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietyThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am so happy that I didn't know this book was written as letters between characters; I typically find that format disengaging and the characters shallow. This was not the case here. Instead I found myself not want to put the book down, falling deeper and deeper into Juliet's life and life on Guernsey Island. At time I burst out with laughter, while other times with tears.

The story takes place just after the end of the second world war depicting the German occupation of the Channel islands. This period of history has always been one that captures my interest. I have never read a book from this perspective, and I found it captivating as well. Someday I would like to visit the Channel islands.

I loved how literature was woven though out, and it tied all the characters together. I am not one that much enjoys classics, but this book made me want to read some.

Some favorite quotes:

"Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books." How true this is, the more good books I read the less tolerant and patient I am with books that are just..ok.

"Did it ever give you pause, that men used to have a soul-not by hearsay alone, or as a figure of speech; but as truth they knew, and acted upon! Verily it was another world then...but yet it is a pity we have lost the tidings of our souls...we shall have have to go in search of them again, or worse in all ways shall befall us." Thomas Carlyle from Past and Present. This have given me pause and I have been chewing on it for quite a while. It seems to tie in with thoughts I have been pondering for quite a while- how society keeps pushing the envelope, trying to be more and more edgy. How we are disregarding the tidings of our souls, the whisper of our conscience, how worse seems to continue to befall.

"the writer assumes you know nothing about cookery and writes useful hints- 'when adding eggs break the shells first.'" I burst out laughing when I read this, imagining someone clueless enough to add eggs with out first removing them from the shell.

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

A New Season...

Running this trial on the Colorado National Monument has been a weekly occurrence every summer for the past 2 years. It is by far the most challenging run I have ever done, no matter how many times I run it, it remains so. I think it is more mentally and physically grueling than any of my long runs because for a solid 30+ minutes my legs burn deep, and my lungs gasp for air. While the final miles when running 10 or 12 are difficult and I feel tired- legs heavy, I never feel this intense fire in my arss and legs.

The distance is somewhat debatable, on the official site it says it is 1.75 miles one way, but my running GPS says it is closer to 2 miles. In that 2 miles it gains 700 feet in elevation and classified as "steep".

Once reaching the top of the trail the downhill is a welcome reprieve for my burning muscles. By the time we reach the bottom again, the pain is almost forgotten, and since we are tough {or suckers for punishment} we turn around and run it again.

My first year of running this I was able to run the first two uphill miles all the way with out stopping after 3 or 4 weeks, and by the end of the summer I was able to run it both times. Last year, I don't know what happened but I really sucked, and it took forever before I could run it all the way one time. I am happy to report that on the 2nd week this year I ran to the top BOTH times, I ran the entire 8 miles non stop! Yahoo!

Learned: The feeling of accomplishment I get from this run is unbelievable. There is nothing like accomplishing something when your brain says you can't.