Our Daily (G)races

Training to be the best wife, mom, runner, and person I can be each and every day....

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

What a glorious day....Christ is Risen!  

We had a wonderful service this morning followed by a butterfly release.  The kids really enjoyed this.  Elena's butterfly took its time getting its wings to work so she was able to stare at it for the longest time.  It was perfect for her! 

After some special treats at church, we headed home for some picture taking and Easter basket hunting.  Of course, Emma, Jonah, Samuel, and Elena loved that.

 Wishing all our family and friends a very Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Crafting

Crafts are one of my least favorite things to do with my kid, but they love them.  Thankfully for me, Easter crafts are very easy and manageable.    Also, I had help from Grammy!

Our first craft was glitter eggs.  They used styrofoam eggs, glue, napkins, and glitter.  The eggs are covered in a half water/glue mix and covered with just the pretty part of the napkin.  After it dries the egg is again covered in glue and then glitter.  Putting glitter on the eggs was definitely their favorite part!  When the glitter was dried, Grammy put hooks in them and hung them on a branch.  It is very pretty!  Some help was needed, but overall it was a craft the kids could do fairly independently. 

The final outcome is so pretty.

Our second craft was coloring eggs.  On my Facebook feed this week I saw directions to color eggs using shaving cream and neon food coloring.  Since I have maybe three boxes of regular coloring, I opted not to buy the neon color.  I think I probably should have used it.   So, the eggs are not the prettiest eggs in the world, but I know the kids have never had this much fun coloring eggs.

This was super easy.  We spread shaving cream on a sheet cake pan, sprinkled on some food coloring, and swirled it with a toothpick.  The kids wore gloves and rolled their eggs in the mess.  Playing with colored shaving cream caused Samuel to declare "This is the best day ever!" 

Happy children making a big mess!

Covered and messy!

Not beautiful, but it was fun!

 I hope everyone is having a great Easter weekend!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Palm Sunday

Today is Palm Sunday, which is the beginning of Holy Week.  It is a huge day in the life of the church and particularly at our church.  The children are very involved in the service and there are several activities for the children/families after church.

Being that we have four kids, it is a big day for us.  Since we live in Spring, Texas it is usually a warm, nice spring day.  I planned everyone's matching outfits days ago and even had everything ironed by Friday afternoon....thanks mom for helping with that.  I will say that I was a little disgusted with the forecast for today.  It was great running weather except for the wind.  It was, however, not great spring clothing wearing weather.  It was freaking freezing cold day and most of that was because of the crazy winds.  Still, we went ahead with with our outfits except for me.  Elena added a sweater and Emma should have had a coat.  Goodness it was cold!

At church, the elementary and preschool children process into worship waving palm branches singing "Hosanna!"  Prior to the procession Emma read Jonah 12:12-15.  She was poised and read the scripture beautifully.  Drew and I were so proud of her.  It was a great bonus that Mammy and Pappy were able to attend the service before leaving for home.

It is a little windy!
After church, there is a simple lunch, a petting zoo, face painting, and an Easter Egg hunt.  This year a group of dancers and singers also performed and they were really fun to watch.  None of these activities are religious in any way whatsoever, but they are fun.  They create wonderful energy about Easter for the children.  And, it is a great time of fellowship.  It could have only been better if it had not been so freaking windy!
Samuel overcame his fear of animals and actually petted some of them

This is Elena's first egg hunt and she thought it was fun!

Everyone was happy with how many eggs they each found....phew!

A family picture just did not happen today, but I got these fun pictures!

I hope everyone had a great Sunday!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Raising Giants

This morning Samuel and Elena has their well check-ups.  Elena was due in December, but she has been sick so consistently that this was the first time it worked.  Samuel is only a month late.  So, well check-ups for my 3 and 5 year olds!
We all know that Samuel and Elena are tall.  Actually Emma and Jonah are quite tall for their ages as well.  I have no idea how this happened.  Drew and I are not tall people.  Both our dads are tall, but I am still always surprised at my kiddos height.
Leah on the end is 4 months older than Elena.  Samuel is 15 months younger than Hanna.
At age 3 and 3 months, Elena is 3'4" which is the 92 percentile for her age.

At age 5 and 1 month Samuel is 3'9" which is the 93.5 percentile for his age.

Good heavens is all I can say to that.

P.S.  I had another wonderful run today.  I took it nice and easy running 5 miles in 46 minutes.  It was a great morning to run!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Back on the Running Train

I have not written a thing about running since the marathon, which thankfully feels like light years ago.  However, I have been running.  My life would not feel complete without.  It just makes me happy.  Currently it is making me really happy. 

I love, love, love not having a training plan.  Now don't get me wrong.  I love plans and knowing what is excepted of me.  I like the comfort of having a plan, but now is not the time for a plan.  So I can love running again I just need to run whatever makes me happy at that moment in time.  I decide if and what I am going to run before I go to bed.  Sometimes I change my mind in the morning and I have no guilt about it.  It has been wonderful.  The only thing I have concentrated on while running is running faster.  During marathon training I focused so much on hitting the paces while saving something for the next workout.  I have none of that currently and I just want to improve my easy pace.  So, that is what I am doing. 

So far my runs have looked like this and it all makes me very happy!

Fri, March 8th---4 miles in 35min
Sat, March 9th---5 miles in 43:45
Mon, March 11th---6 miles in 53min
Wed, March 13th---6 miles in 53min
Thurs, March 14th---8 miles in 1:10
Sat, March 16th---5 miles in 44min
Sun, March 17th---10 miles in 1:27
Mon, March 18th---5.2 miles in 48min
Wed, March 20th---8 miles in 1:07

Only one time in almost two weeks have I averaged a pace over 9min/mile and I ran that pace on purpose.  I love that.  I have run a few miles in the high 7min/mile range.  That felt like work, but the 8 minute miles are feeling much easier and comfortable.  The freedom of running what makes me happy is perfect for right now.

I also had the awesome treat of running with Scott.  He is my favorite running partner.  We run very similar paces and have great chats while running.  The time passes so quickly. 

Our last run...5 speedy miles!
So, what else have we been doing since the Hayes' returned to Maryland. Mammy has been here since last Thursday.  Sunday night we went out to dinner and Elena went dressed as a princess.

Yesterday was Pony Rides at Samuel's school.  He looked precious!
Pappy came yesterday.  The kids were so excited for Pappy to get here.  He is here for a course, but today was all about playing.  We did a little shopping, ate lunch at Cafe Express, and the kids painted all afternoon with Pappy.  Pappy was so patient with Elena and Samuel while they created their masterpieces.  Pappy also painted a picture for Elena's newly painted bedroom.

Pappy's final product
Elena's masterpiece of pink
Samuel's masterpiece of color

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Carnival Time

Last Saturday Emma, Maya, and Hanna organized and hosted a carnival for their cousins/brothers/sisters.  They had planned the event for at least a month during very long phone conversations.  They spent the end of the week working on gathering supplies and making signs.  They were very excited and so was everyone else.

They had several stations to play games and even games just for Leah and Elena.  It was a very well organized and fun event. 
The ribbon cutting to being the games
The dress up center
Our characters in costume!
The fortune tellers
Picking a prize
Baby Stroller Race
Hanna monitoring the snack station
The ring toss
Some of the other games were dinosaur races, jumping on the trampoline, scavenger hunt for the little girls, and running races.  Even with all those fun games the kids still loved playing in a large box that had our new patio furniture in it.  I will always wonder why we just don't give empty boxes as presents.

Maya, Hanna, Leah, Aunt Kelsey, and Uncle Scott are back in Maryland.  Emma was bored all day yesterday...maybe a little lost without her constant companions.  I think it may be a long 12-14 weeks until we see them again.  It definitely feels that way.

We had an amazing Spring Break.  I liked not having to make lunches, wake early, rush people to school, and worry about getting homework accomplished.  I love the ages of my kiddos.  They are independent enough that they entertain themselves for a while and I get some free time.  But, they are all still young enough that they like to hang out with me and Drew.  We can go more places because we don't have to worry about naps.  I am ready for summer!

Back to the grind tomorrow...boo!