Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Nightmare, a Five Mile Race and Black Island Farms Corn Maze and Slides

I went to sleep at a decent time last night.  I had been exhausted.  I was out cold by 10:35, then woke up for a moment to see that David Letterman was on, so changed it to Jimmy Fallon.  I do have a preference.  Then quickly fell back to sleep.  At 3:30, approximately, I was roused from my sleep by a very loud scream and crying.  My toddler had a nightmare, or night terror, I am not sure how to tell the difference.  I was awake for the next 2.5 hours, so was she.  That was not what I was expecting as part of preparing for my race that I believed started at 8 am.  I know my alarm went off at 7:16 am.  I know I turned the alarm off.  I was thankful that I woke up at 7:46 am.  I have never gotten ready so quickly for a race in my life!  Thankfully, I knew where everything was that I needed!

I got to the race at 8:01 am.  I was sure that this was one of my race nightmares come true.  I quickly grabbed my MP3 player and exited my van.  I went scurrying around, looking for where the starting line was.  I tried to figure out where everyone was congregating, but when I couldn't figure that out, I figured I would use a port-a-pot....thanks to race day nerves.

I finally found someone and asked them where the starting line was.  She didn't know where that was either, since it was her first year.  I then stated, "I thought the race started at 8."

She replied, "It starts at 8:30."

I then told her the story of my morning (like she cared), and how thankful I was that it was a later start than I thought.  That gave me time to go and change the battery in my MP3 players, since I only had one bar left.  I wouldn't want it to die midrun, although it wouldn't have been the first time that happened to me.

Finally, the call to the starting line was made for the half-marathoners.  I chatted with a couple of women while race directions for the half-marathoners were made.  One of them explained the course, since she was familiar with it.  Then it was time for use five milers to line up.  I always line up toward the back, that way I don't get passed by a lot of people.  We were told that there would be another race on some of the same course we were on.  We had to follow the green arrow, the other race had orange ones.  I made a mental note.  Then the countdown began, backward from 10.

When I crossed the starting line, I started my watch.  Then I just ran, for 1 hour and five minutes.  Unofficially, I ran for 1:08:59.1.  But the half marathoners started a couple of minutes or so ahead of us, and that is when the race clock started that gave the unofficial time.  I still have those moments reminding myself that I ran a 10K in 1:00:15.  I then remind myself that I was 5 years younger, 30 lbs lighter, and hadn't broken my foot a few months before.  The 5 miler was a little more than 5 miles too.  I remember I crossed the five mile mark, and still had a ways to go.  The distance passed the 5 miles, I don't know, but it was a distance, somewhere between .25 mile and .50 mile.

I also saw a woman at an aid station fall down.  She was there by herself.  I couldn't run passed and not find out if she was okay.  When I got to the aid station, I asked her if she was okay.  She stated that she had stepped wrong on her bad ankle and it had rolled causing her to fall.  She was limping around.  I didn't want to continue until I knew she was okay and she assured me that she was.  I was thanked her for her service at the run and continued on.  The conversation didn't last more than one or two minutes I imagine.

Upon finishing the race, I ate a third of a banana and had a glass of chocolate milk.  Then I headed home to pick up my husband and children.  As part of the race registration, I got a free ticket for myself and two guests into the Black Island Farms Corn Maze (where the race started and ended).  I picked them up and we headed back.

They had an area with goats, turkeys, rams, llamas, peacocks and geese.  The photo below is a picture of the children with a kid (baby goat) between them and to the back.  It is brown.  It is hard to see. The children wanted a picture with it though.


After looking at all of the animals, we continued on to several slides.  There is a really long one that looks like it was made out of a plastic pipe.  




This is a picture of my husband going down the slide with my toddler.  She turned three on October 5.  It is so hard for me to believe that my baby is three now!  She is enjoying seeing a photo of her and her daddy on here, with the slide!





This is a picture of my oldest son, he is 11.  They had to ride a burlap sack down, probably to help with going down quicker.  I had to time the photo so that it would get them before they went passed the view of the lens.  So, I had to take it when they were still in the tube.  



This is my oldest daughter, at age 10.  She enjoyed her trip down the tube also.  That was one of the favorite things of the day.

This is a picture of my youngest son, he is six.  Another big fan of the slide!  He went down the slide several times!


Here is my toddler climbing up a rope ladder.  She wasn't a fan of that.  This led to a smaller slide.  Immediately after taking this photo, she exclaimed that she was scared.  I got her off of that.  She and her dad went down the slide together.  He helped her get to the top of that pile of hay.


After the kids got tired of sliding, they announced that it was time to enter the corn maze.  This was the first corn maze any of us had done, except for my husband.  It was an exciting moment, and a little nerve wrecking.  My biggest fear was one of the kids taking off into the corn and getting lost for minutes, hours, or days.  Nothing that I enjoy thinking about... I took a picture of my husband with the children and took one of me with the children, then we continued into the maze.  



 I tried to show off my race number, but it just didn't all show up!  I was number 1009.  Those are some really beautiful children, in my own opinion!  I am blessed to have each one of them.


As we traversed the corn maze, the children took turns picking each turn, from oldest to youngest.  They enjoyed being in control of our destiny.  We went in a few circles.   Phase 1 of the corn maze took us about 10 minutes to go through. 


Then we entered Phase 2, which took considerably longer.  Phase 2 turned into Phase 3 at a tower.  I turned on my stopwatch when we entered Phase 2. We let the children decide our fate, until they got tired of being in the corn maze.  Then we found the tower again, took a look, my husband figured out how to get us out, and we followed him.  We got out of the maze after 39 minutes.  Oh, I didn't mention... I have a horrible sense of direction!  My toddler did make it out of the maze, but she really was tired of it!  She didn't want to be in the above photo, but after I took it, she wanted to be in one, so we have the photo below too!


It was a really fun morning/afternoon with my husband and children.  I was thankful that I got to run the race, and that I was able to run the whole time.  I was thankful that we then got to have this family time together.  It was fun to see the children working together to get us through the mazes.  They worked really well to try to figure out the turns.  Sometimes, my toddler would lead us a way the children didn't think we should go, but we all went anyway.  In the end, we made it out and we had a good, memorable time.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Veggie Picking

Last month, we loaded all the kids into the car.  We decided we would go and get a bunch of veggies from a local "you pick" farm.  We filled up a box, which is an estimated bushel, with eggplant, tomatoes, peppers and green beans.  It was a lot of fun to go out there and get some fresh veggies. The veggies were enjoyable.  The kids were proud of what we got...


I am not sure we will ever do that again.  I have no clue what to do with that many peppers, green beans, and eggplants.  We added some things to our neighbor's compost pile.  I did have some fresh veggies before they met that fate though.  Keith ate a bunch of the green peppers.  We discovered there really isn't anything to do with eggplant, except to make eggplant lasagna.  My daughter cooked a lot of the green beans, and those were really good to eat.

Things I learned, apparently you don't have to have tomato cages.  There were hundreds, if not thousands, of tomato plants, and there wasn't a single one of them with a tomato cage.  They were all just sprawled across the ground.  Not anything I had ever thought of doing, but it seems to work.

I learned that it is easy to fill a bushel basket with eggplants, although there really isn't a use for eggplants.  Have you tasted one?  I don't appreciate the taste of a raw eggplant...  I imagine I would feel the same way about a boiled one.

I guess I am posting the picture because I really enjoy seeing the children :)  I thought I would give a little background to it.  I will continue to wish that we lived back east, where we could have filled that box with blueberries, and freeze them.





Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Every Step Counts

It was May 30, 2014, I was minding my own business, the best I could.  My toddler had been diagnosed with strep throat the day before.  We were invited to a beginning of summer S'mores party at a friend's house.  I sent my husband and three older children with all the necessary fixins.

I stayed home with the little one, because, to be honest, who wants to have a sick kid around?!  If it isn't my sick kid, I prefer to not have them around.  As a mom, I have always tried to be responsible; not bring my kids to church sick, and not send them to school sick.  So, as much as I LOVE burnt marshmallows (more than you can understand reading this), I stayed home.

I figured while I was home, I should exercise.  I did 12 minutes of running in place, in 20 second increments. Run 20 seconds, rest 20 seconds, and so on, for 12 minutes total.  I ran for six minutes and rested for six minutes, but when you do the running as fast as you possibly can, it can really poop you out!  Then I thought, well, why don't I do some push-ups, on the stairs.  I proceeded to do that.  I can't even begin to tell you how many I did, because what happened next led to the worst pain in my entire life.  Yes, I am including childbirth.  Possibly because I got to see, or hold, or know I would see soon, the most amazing little person in the world.  I had four of those most amazing little people...

I stood up, started coming down the stairs, and didn't realize how far up I was.  I took, what I imagined was, the last step.  Well, it was one of the last steps I took for six weeks.  I was at least two stairs up higher than I thought.  I took that step, and I knew, mid-air, that I had done something drastically wrong.  I landed directly on my ankle.  Everything that could pop in my left foot, did pop.

I was still at home, with my toddler.  My husband and three older children were still gone.  My husband doesn't use a cell phone.  Thankfully, one of my friends, went to the party too.  I sent her a message to send my husband home, telling her that I was pretty sure I broke my ankle.  I sent this message, via my Facebook on the computer, since I didn't have a cell either.  My toddler wasn't amused that her sobbing Mom was taking the computer from her.  Like I said, the most painful thing in my life...

My husband arrived home, probably 20 minutes later.  I was still sobbing.  But, I had known, that I was going to deal with the pain through the night.  With the aid of Mobu Herbals PM Pain Lotion, acetaminophen, ice, and elevation, I made it through the night.  My husband and I don't have health insurance.  The Urgent Care location that we have a membership to had closed at 8 pm.  It was 8:15 pm when it happened.  There was no way I was going to an ER to pay them $1000's when I could go to the Urgent Care for $10.

I found out that I broke the third metatarsal in my foot and sprained my ankle.  As to how I didn't break my ankle, that is still well beyond my grasp.  Anyway, I was put in a splint for 4-6 weeks.  My parents came out the following week to help me out, since this happened the day the children got out of school for the summer.


I would spend the next six weeks in this.  Non-weight bearing, on crutches.  That is when I realized that it was a very bad idea to ever buy a house without a bathroom on the main level.  If you take nothing else from reading this, only buy a house that has a bathroom on the main level!  My parents stayed out here for four weeks.  Then we headed back east.  I brought my four children with me.  We stayed there for six weeks.  At the six week mark, I got to switch to a boot and start putting minimal weight on my foot.


That was a happy day in my life, being able to walk on two feet again, even if it was with crutches.  I was excited to be done with the splint.  I was excited to have two feet on the ground again.  I was minimum weight bearing for two weeks.  Then I got rid of the crutches, at eight weeks.  That was also a great day in my life!  Crutch free!  I used my boot for about 2 1/2 more weeks, mostly because I forgot to bring my other shoe back to New York with me when I left.

I noticed, at about five or six weeks, that the muscle in my leg was starting to disappear.  It wasn't a nice day to notice that, especially since there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.  It was hard to basically see a lot of loose skin, where muscle used to be.  I didn't pay a lot of attention to it, mostly because I couldn't change it.

I didn't realize, until today, how much that muscle really mattered.  Although there was nothing I could do about losing it, because I don't know that you can strengthen it, when you can't even put your weight on it, let alone any other weight.  I started "running" again on Saturday.  The time it takes to run two miles is not anything I would ever brag about.  I timed it on Monday, and it is basically a 14:20 mile, over two miles.  I wasn't amused at all about that time, since it is more than four minutes slower than my fastest time.  Heck, I had run 2 miles in less than four minutes slower than that mile.

As I walked today, the same distance that I ran on Monday, in the same spot, I realized something.  Maybe it isn't right, but it is the conclusion I came to.  This left leg of mine does not have the necessary muscle for the foot turnover rate that it used to have.  On top of that, my foot, ankle and heel still bother me.  I am sure that there are several tendons and ligaments torn up in there.  I can't afford to get it fixed, and even I could, I don't think I would.  I have heard too many stories of feet/ankles being worse after surgery than they were before.

From this point on, I will remember that it isn't about the time right now, it is about rebuilding the muscle that was lost in six weeks of not bearing weight, two additional weeks of bearing minimal weight, and a total of 14 weeks without running.  I also have to remember that I gained weight, so I am also hauling around additional weight.  Right now, I am doing Weight Watchers to help correct that issue.

I will get back to running how I used to, but I guess I have to build back up to that.  EVERY STEP COUNTS!!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

12 Weeks and 2 Days Later

With the last update, it was my children's last day of school and I broke my foot.  That happened 12 weeks and two days ago.  A lot has happened since then.  My parents spent about four weeks here with me to help out with the children while I couldn't walk on my foot.  We then headed back east for six weeks. 

I had a wonderful summer in New York.  My children and I rode back with my parents.  My mom drove my van with myself and my two youngest children and our dog.  My dad drove back with my two older children and their dog.  It took us about 3 days of driving, stopping at night to sleep. 

While I was home, I got to see some of my friends.  I saw some longer than others, but I was thankful for any time I got to spend with them.  Life is busy, and not being able to walk for most of the summer had its limitations. 

I got to go to the Hill Cumorah Pageant with my mom, my chldren and one of our friends, who is also the creator and President of MOBU Herbals.  It was her first time to go, and it was just coincidental that her visit to NY coincided with the Pageant.  We got to have a meeting with her and it helped to introduce the product to some of my friends in the area.

I got to watch a lot of softball games.  My brother has played with some of his fellow ballplayers for as long as I can remember.  They are like brothers.  I enjoy getting to cheer them on.  My sister-in-law has played on the same team for years, and I enjoyed getting to see her play and some of the teammates I remembered from before. 

My children got to catch up with some of their friends also.  They also have children that we consider cousins.  They are my sister-in-law's niece and nephews.  They spent a lot of time with them.  I guess it is hard to explain our family dynamics, but we love my sister-in-law's family as if they are our own.  Some of the cousins from Washington also came out for a few weeks so my children got to see them also.  We love being together with everyone.

I started to put weight on my foot, without crutches, a couple of weeks before leaving New York.  I hate crutches.  It is something I never want to deal with again! 

We went blueberry picking, which is a very pastime for us.  We have been doing that since I was in high school.  We spent a lot of time in the backyard.  I love my parents' backyard.  They have a couple swings that we just sit in and swing.  Dad bought a badminton set for the kids to play.  They spent hours playing and laughing.

My dad turned 70 while we were there.  It is amazing/crazy to me, that my dad is 70.  If you know him, I am sure you agree that it seems impossible. 

While I was home, two of my sisters and one of my brothers came home.  All at different times, but it was wonderful to see them all.  The worst thing about living where I do is that it is so far away from family.  My sister and her husband will be moving back here in a few weeks, so I am really excited about that.

I honestly would have never come back here if I hadn't left my husband here.  So those in this area that are glad, or sad, I am back, you can thank my husband.  Those in New York who are sad, or glad, I am not there, can also thank my husband.

I think I have written before about how running helps me deal with life and curb depression.  Having not been able to run for the last 12 weeks and 2 days hasn't been good for the psyche.  The funny thing is that I was fine in New York, probably because I was surrounded by people that love me.  It isn't so much here.  I have a really hard time and miss being able to pound the pavement to get over that.

In other news, I weaned my youngest, who is also my last, child while I was back east.  She went cold turkey on August 4th.  I knew that I would need a lot of support in my decision, so I knew that I should do it while I had that kind of support.  It made it a lot easier on me, and possibly on her too.

My kids head back to school tomorrow, so we know that summer is 12 weeks and 2 days long.  Although my summer didn't go as planned, starting the evening they got out of school, I can't complain.  I am blessed that I was able to spend the summer with family and friends.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

How Can the School Year be Over?

My little 6 year-old graduated from Kindergarten two weeks ago today.  As my toddler and I stood there and watched him get his certificate, I was so proud of him.  I felt that feeling in my heart that I feel when I am overwhelmed with how my children have grown.

Him, and his classmates, sang a song "I am a VIP in my Family."  It is so true.  He is a very important person in our family. As he sang that song (photo below) he kept looking at me and smiling.  He brings so much joy.  He has a smile that is contagious.  He says things that are wise beyond his years.  He is very caring, but he is mischievous too.




Here he is with his Kindergarten teacher.  I am so thankful for her patience.  I am thankful for how well she treated him.  When she started the graduation ceremony, she read a poem and started crying.  It talked about how she got them at the beginning of the year, and watched them grow into what they were that day.  I could tell she loved the children.

I said to him on the way back to our vehicle, "You know your teacher loves you?"

He said, "I know, she told us everyday."

Who doesn't want their children to have a teacher that will let them know that she loves them.  To the best of my memory, I never had a teacher tell us, as a class, that she/he loved us.  I think it would help kids treat each other and the teacher with more respect, knowing that the teacher cared about them.



He received his graduation cap and he wore it the whole day.  We went grocery shopping and he wore it.  He was so very proud that he was able to graduate from Kindergarten.  His little sister was able to enjoy the day with us also.



We didn't find out about graduation until that morning.  One of my friends on Facebook had posted that she couldn't believe her child was graduating the next morning, so I called and asked.  Thankfully I did, or I would have missed it.  I just didn't see the announcement when it came home.

My children officially finished school the next day.  They learned so much this school year, and I am always thankful for good teachers that treat my children well. 

I broke a bone in my foot that evening.  I am not allowed to put any weight on it for 4-6 weeks and then re-introduce a little weight at a time.  This summer will be interesting! 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My New Work-at-Home Job - MOBU Herbals Utah

When I was first married, my husband and I rented a room from a wonderful woman.  We were blessed to have this woman welcome us into her home, and love us and treat us as she would a family member.  During this time, we got to know a couple of her children.  One of her children is Janell Cole.  She is a Naturopathic Doctor and Master Herbalist.  She is the creator/founder of MOBU Herbals.  My husband and I were blessed to get to know her during this time.

She has been selling MOBU Herbals for eight years via her website and it has been sold in select health food stores.  It is now available to be sold at home parties via consultants.  We are looking for determined people, that believe in the product, to go out and starting making a great income while teaching people about MOBU Herbals.


The products are wonderful!  They are organic and herbal based.  There are balms, lotions, body butters and lip balms.  The products sell themselves.  Samples are made available for people to try out.  There is no doubt that they work.  I have seen how they help with ear infections, coughs, colds, congestion, sore throats, migraines, back pain, tooth aches, bug bites and skin tags.  There are lotions and balms to help with energy, to activate a sluggish immune system, and energize adrenal and thyroid glands.  There is a product to naturally ease constipation.  All of the products are transdermal.  In other words, they are absorbed through the skin.  By doing so, they bypass the liver and digestive system, which depletes the potency of oral medications, sometimes up to 90%.  Furthermore, they will not injure the organs, as some medications that are taken orally have been found to do.

The body butters are great!  Like most body butters they provide relief from dry, cracked skin.  These also can minimize scarring and stretch marks.  They provide relief from eczema.  They soothe sunburned or peeling skin.  They smell amazing!  My favorite scents are Love Potion #9 and Chocolate Cherry.  There are nine scents to choose from and unscented.

I am excited to be starting with this company and be able to help out a good friend.  I believe in her and I believe in her product.  I have used it and I know that when others get the chance to try it, they will love it also.  That is why I have free samples and I will ship them out for others to try.   The only thing that I ask is that you post a review of the product(s) that you tried on my Facebook page.

Please check out my facebook page MOBU Herbals Utah to find out about all the products.  I look forward to helping as many people as possible learn about these natural products.  

When you share this and place your first order, you will get a free lip balm of your choice... please message me, or send me an email at mobu.herbals.utah@gmail com, so I can add the lip balm to your order.  Place your order at www.stratusmall.com/store/6266 then click "health" on the left side, then "mobu herbals." When signing up as a customer, please pick "customer" (the bottom option).

Friday, May 9, 2014

My Sister's Big Day - April 26, 2014

We arrived in Minnesota on April 25, 2014.  Everyone in my vehicle was excited to finally get there and be with family.  My parents, brother, his wife, and each of their dog arrived about 1 1/2 hours later.  It was so wonderful to be together.

We picked up my brother the next day from the airport, and traded in the rental vehicle we had.   It started showing that it needed an oil change early the day before.  Since we were at the airport, it was the perfect time for the trade.

From the airport, we went to Costco.  We had to get food to eat and things for my sister's reception.  It was then that I discovered that Costco no longer has the ice cream bar at the food court.  It was a very sad moment in my life.

After Costco, we headed to the Mall of America.  It was somewhere my sister-in-law had always wanted to go to.  They were having Robot Wars in the main hallway.  We watched a couple of them.  I don't really understand the concept, but my brothers and my children enjoyed it.  We walked around and went into the Nickelodeon themed amusement park.  My toddler wasn't amused in the slightest when I didn't get her a stuffed Patrick or Spongebob toy.

It was getting late by this point.  We had to hurry back to the hotel and get ready for the wedding.  We then had to run to the reception hall and help get it ready.  We were really fast getting changed and getting out of the hotel.  I was impressed with the speed we got ready.

We headed to the reception hall where we had to get tables put in the correct places.  We made sure that chairs were around the tables and the tables were appropriately decorated.  My sister and I then went and helped our other sister get into her wedding gown.  She is absolutely beautiful.  We had to lace up the back of it.   We were busy lacing up her dress in the photo below.



We got her all laced up and got her headpiece attached.  She put on her jacket and it was time to head out.  She was taking a boat to the island she was getting married on.  We would be driving over.  My older daughter rode over on the boat because she was in charge of keeping the train off the ground.  She enjoyed that a lot!

We arrived on the island and the wedding got started.  It was a quick wedding, sweet and to the point.  There was a photographer there.  The photos have not arrived yet.  None of us remembered our cameras, so all the photos are with phones.  I think they turned out well.   I look forward to seeing the professional photos too!

After the photos were complete, we went to the reception hall.  When the bride decided it was time to eat, we all agreed.  I had lettuce wrap sandwiches.  They made them for me because of my gluten problem.  I chased my toddler around most of the night.  

One of my dear friends, who was a roommate of ours in college, was there with her family.  It was so nice to get to see her and visit with her during that evening.  She has a wonderful family.  She helped me chase my kiddos around.

The lighting in the reception hall was not very good.  Some pictures were taken in there, I found the best one of my sister.  


I am blessed to have been able to spend that day with them.  I was thankful that I was able to go.  It was an amazing evening.  I wish my sister and her husband an eternity of happiness!