November 24, 2009


Today I registered for my first "race." It's a 5K on December 12th. Anyone want to join me? I will be mostly walking, but I would love some company....because I'm terrified. Here is a link to register.

November 19, 2009

My New Thing

Years ago (too many!) during my last semester of college, I took a P.E. class in "Beginning Golf." To make a long story short, I needed a .5 credit class to fill a gap and it was the only thing I could get into at the last minute. I certainly never would have taken it otherwise.

I had never played golf in my life so I didn't know what to expect. Actually, I really enjoyed it. The teacher was funny and interesting, and I found that I wasn't half bad at it. It was an easy "A." I learned the rules and how to swing, watched/evaluated a few hours of the "Masters," and played a couple of rounds of golf at a local course. That was about it.

Then toward the end of the semester, the teacher announced that there would a written exam. How annoying. BUT, he said we could opt out of the exam and get an "A" on it by participating in a study for his doctoral dissertation.... he was a graduate student in exercise physiology. (Yes, people actually study it!)

I don't remember exactly what he was studying, though I have wondered a few times what his conclusions were, since, yes, I participated in the study. (I have always hated multiple choice exams.)

It was pretty straight forward; I went to the exercise lab (yes, lab....weird, I know) during my appointed time, where he hooked me up to a bunch of wires and tubes, and made me do stuff, like run on a tread mill and ride a stationery bike, and did a full-fledged EKG, etc.

I was curious. When he was done, I asked a lot of questions, and he showed me a chart of physical fitness levels, from poor to superior. He told me I scored very well. I was pleased and figured I did alright because of all the aerobics classes I went to that my roommate taught, and all the walking I did around campus, and well, everywhere, since I didn't have a car.

Still, I wasn't happy with my body because I wasn't as "skinny" as I thought I should be.

Anyway, pointing to the chart he said, "'Superior' is the professional athlete range. The range just below it is 'Excellent'." Then he surprised me by saying, "You are at the top of the 'Excellent' range, right on the border to 'Superior'." I was speechless. And so proud of myself. And kind of confused. It was the best shape I have ever been in in my life, and yet I wasn't skinny?

That was when I decided that you don't have to be "skinny" to be physically fit.

Then the years went by..... I got married and gave birth to 3 kids, gaining weight with each one. In between I broken a lot of bones in a serious car accident and spent about 6 months in a wheel chair doing physical therapy and learning to walk again. Exercise was no longer part of my life. I have exercised since then for periods of time, but nothing serious.

That's changing.

I'm making exercise part of my life again. (Maybe because I'm rapidly approaching 40? Yikes!) I have started working out with a personal trainer who is working my tail off. I'm more sore than I have ever been in my life.... more sore than I thought was possible. But I'm determined to get back to "Excellent" physical fitness.

Even if I don't get "skinny." (But I'm still hoping.)

Just thought you should know.

November 01, 2009

Disneyland 2009

We took the kids to Disneyland for Fall Break. I never get tired of it! I am constantly amazed at what a great job they do, with everything....oh the detail! I wish we could go every year (so far it's been ever other year). But holy cow it's expensive! What's the deal with Collin being an "adult" now that he's TEN??????

We drove over on Wednesday, and stayed at the Howard Johnson across the street. It has a really fun water park which we took advantage of on Friday night.... it was hot and we were tired. It was a great break! We always go in October and it's always been cool, so we were surprised it was so warm.

We spent Thursday and Friday at Disneyland. We were joined by our friends for part of the day on Thursday, which was fun. Since our kids have tons of autographs and photos with characters from years past, we decided that this time we would not stand in line or go out of our way to see them. But we did have a fun moment with Alice and the Mad Hatter....

... and had Woody to ourselves for about 20 minutes.We discovered the best souvenir in the park.... silhouettes! You MUST visit the Silhouette studio on Main Street. It was amazing! This woman cut gorgeous silhouettes of our kids, in less than a minute each, with nothing but a piece of paper and a pair of scissors. Seriously cool! And considering how expensive all things Disney are, it's a bargain at $9... you actually get two copies that are mirror images (the paper is printed black on one side and folded, so you automatically get two) and they mount them for you.
These actually look like my kids!(Sorry for the blurry photos... I was shooting without a flash to avoid glare, and I was in a hurry.)

Some of the other highlights at Disneyland:

1) Riding in the front compartment of the Monorail with the operator... kudos to Collin for being brave enough to ask. The view was great and we got to chat with the operator and she told us a few interesting facts.
2) Eating dinner at the Blue Bayou... finally! We have always wanted to. It was expensive, but worth it. We had a great table close to the water. The food was delicious and the service was excellent. The kids were amazed at the "magic" inside that absolutely convinces you that you are "outside." It was so peaceful and relaxing.... great to get away from the craziness.

3) Making faces for the camera on "Splash Mountain." We rode several times (to get wet... like I said, it was hot) and realized that every photo had all the same expressions (not just us, everyone!).... either big smiling laugh, or freaked out look. So, we decided we would do the opposite... look mad, bored, etc. It was kind of hard because your natural reaction is to laugh. Here is the result.
Jay got reprimanded over the loud-speaker for standing up in the middle of the ride to take this photo. Apparently, there are hidden cameras everywhere.4) Jack's first time on the Indiana Jones ride. It was closed last time we went (he wouldn't have been tall enough then anyway). He loved it... great ride! He did NOT love Space Mountain... the Halloween version was a little too scary for him. We all love Big Thunder Mountain.

5) Fireworks! The Halloween Screams show was spectacular! Definitely worth waiting up for!

We spent Friday at California Adventure. I like the changes they are making to the park. The new Toy Story ride was fun. Jack and Mary were tall enough for California Screamin' this time, and they loved it. (I can only handle once on that ride... I guess I'm getting old!). Our favorite is still "Soarin' Over California." So cool!

Best souvenir at Cal. Adv.? Mr. Potatohead All-You-Can-Fit-in-the-Box. We had fun choosing pieces and stuffing the box full.

Other highlights of California Adventure:

1) Singing in line. While waiting for the Tower of Terror, I heard Jack singing quietly to himself. I asked him what he was singing, and he said, "Oh, just a little song I made up." I asked him to sing it for me. It's to the tune of "The Wise Man and the Foolish Man."

The Tower of Terror has shocks all around.
The Tower of Terror has shocks all around.
The Tower of Terror has shocks all around,
And the hotel is haunted now.

It was so funny. We all sang it the rest of the day.

2) Laughing our heads off (and kind of freaking out) on the giant ferris wheel. Man those swinging gondolas really SWING!

3) The Pixar Parade. Very cute and fun parade. We had good "seats" too.

4) The Genie at the Aladdin show was hilarious. We also had great seats, and only waited about 10 minutes.

5) Drawing lessons. "Drawn to the Magic" is a very fun way to get away from the noise and crowds, and get out of the sun.

When we finished up there Saturday night we drove over to stay the night with our friends who graciously put us up in their lovely home. Thanks guys! We went to church with them the next day and got to spend some time visiting before driving home.

It was a great trip!
Halloween costumes were easy this year; Mary did a repeat of Dorothy with the costume I made for her a couple of years ago (I made it big for that reason... all that work!), Jack wore his Indiana Jones costume from his birthday party earlier this year, and Collin wore some of Jay's Darth Vader gear, adapted for his smaller size. They were pleased with how they looked (and received lots of compliments) and had a great time trick-or-treating.

Too much candy?

Several years ago I learned a great lesson about Halloween candy from my sister; let them eat as much as they want (that night, the next morning).... they either eat it all and then it's over and you don't have to deal with it anymore, or they get sick of it and throw the rest out. Brilliant!

Be prepared to shed a few tears

I love this album. It's beautiful and inspiring.

However, be warned that if you are listening to this on a Sunday morning while you are getting ready for church, don't listen to tracks #2 or #6 while you are trying to put on eye makeup... you will be defeating your purpose. I learned that the hard way this morning.