Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Shamrock 2013

This past Sunday I did my first race of the season.  It was the Portland Shamrock Run, and I ran the 15K option.  I figured this was a good measure of my training for the 1/2 marathon I'm doing in May.  It was a very cold morning.  I had to scrape the ice off the car.  I drove to the MAX station.  The shuttle stop was busy with activity as about 100 runners were also waiting for the train.  I guess it takes a crazy kind of person to get out of a warm house or bed and go for a cold run on a Sunday morning, but there we were.  I got down to the race start about 40 minutes early.  So I had time to walk around, use the port-a-potties.  But then I was ready to go!  I wanted to get the race started.  The sun was peaking out of the clouds, and it looked like the rain was going to stay away long enough for us to do our race. We started at 7:40.  The route is hilly, and it tested my training.  But it felt good to run.  When I was done, I was hoping that Jeff and the boys would make it down in time to see me finish.  But they got stuck on MAX.  It had to stop because it was in the path of runners, and they made the trains wait while the runners passed by.  Eventually I decided to head home, and it was while waiting for a train to pick me up that I ran into Jeff and the boys.  They had finally made it down.  But it was still quite cold, probably around 40 degrees, so I was happy to head home, take a hot shower and eat something.  It was a great race, I had a lot of fun, and it's a good feeling to have the first race of the year behind me. 

After the Race

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Chinese Gardens

Today Sam, Simon and I got to go along with Daniel's class from school for a field trip to the Chinese Gardens in downtown Portland.  I had been there once before, and I thought Sam and Simon had been there once with Grandma, but it was Daniel's first time.  One of the highlights was getting to ride on a real school bus all the way there!  We got there and were divided up into groups with a tour guide.  We walked around, looking at the ponds and the architecture.  Our tour guide told us stories of long ago China.  I think the younger boys really enjoyed it along with Daniel.  It was also neat to see after just visiting the Japanese Gardens recently, too.  It was fun to talk about the similarities and the differences between the two.

Sam listens intently

Simon ponders the water

Daniel balances the big thoughts of the world

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Uncle Nathan & Aunt Lori

Last weekend, some of our friends from California came up for a visit.  We have a bit of history with them.  Nathan went to EAS when we were there as teachers.  Jeff was his class sponsor, so their friendship goes back many years.  While we were in Loma Linda, Nathan was there taking Dentistry at the same time.  And so it also began that Nathan along with Jerhet, another former student and also doing Dentistry, began babysitting for Jeff and I on occasion.  Before Sam arrived, Nathan began dating Lori.  Then Nathan and Lori became our babysitters.  Not only did we have a friendship with them, but also they became friends with our kids, and it made a special bond.  Daniel was even asked to be in their wedding.  And it was with heavy hearts that we had to say good-bye to our good friends, "Uncle" Nathan and "Aunt" Lori, when we moved to Portland almost 3 years ago.

It was fun to take them to some of our favorite places in Portland.  On Saturday we took a drive along the Old Columbia Highway, along the Gorge, stopping at many beautiful places.  We hiked to Bridal Veil Falls, a little at Multnomah Falls and Horsetail Falls.  That night we went to a favorite pizza place, called Pizza Dream.  On Sunday we took them to OMSI and then to the Japanese Gardens in Washington Park.  The two days went by very quickly.  I'm just so glad that they came to visit us.  We have missed them, and the boys enjoyed reconnecting with them, too.  And they finally got to meet Simon.  He was only a bump in my tummy when we last saw them.

Hiking Multnomah Falls

Japanese Gardens

Japanese Gardens

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Urge to Purge!

I'm getting the urge to purge again.  Every once in a while I just feel so overwhelmed with all of the STUFF we have in the house, and I just want to start giving everything away.  One of my new year's resolutions this year was to give at least one bag of stuff away.  I don't think this will be a difficult task for me.  The first month I gave about 6 bags of stuff away.  And last month I gave away at least 2 bags of stuff, but not for lack of stuff to give away, more like lack of time to go through things.  We are also finding that as Simon gets older, we are no longer needing all of the baby stuff.  We are finally moving past that stage, which seems hard to believe at times.  So, it's time to get rid of the high chair, the stroller and soon the crib. 

Another thing I worry about is all of the toys and things that the boys have.  Do they have too much stuff?  What message am I sending about greed and want?  How do I teach them to appreciate their things, be thankful for their things and see that in the world there are lots of boys and girls who are not so fortunate as them.  We talk about it with them, but are they really getting it?  Of course they are still young, so hopefully we still have some time to work on this. 

I think I'll go through another box.

This has nothing to do with purging.  I just thought it was a cute pic of the boys!