Friday, June 14, 2013

Going for the Great

In March, I ran my first 5k: The Reno Leprechaun Chase. It was exhilarating. I ran well- or better than I expected.

Something's happening to me and I can't explain how it's happening- even to myself. I'm really enjoying running.
When I don't get a run in, I feel sad.
I find myself searching for local races by month.
I am not sure where this running journey is going to take me. I just know, I can't stop.
I'm loving it.
I enjoy running.

In May, I ran my 2nd 5k: The Reno Moms on the Run race. It was awesome. The race was on Mother's Day. My family came to the race to cheer me on. I had a slower time. Still- I raced and I loved it.

My husband dyed shirts pink and the kids told him what they wanted to write on them. Sweetest thing ever!

Shortly after that race, my oldest son asked if he could run a race.

We've been running together in the evenings. It's incredible. The time together after our runs is especially sweet. After a few weeks of running, his desire to run is strong. It's exciting to see. I couldn't run with him last night because I had a date with my husband. My son ran on his own during the day.

He runs his first race on Sunday. It's our first race together. I am excited for this run because my times during training are getting faster. I am excited for my son. I look forward catching up with him at the finish line.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thursday Thanks Tank #197

I am thankful for these things and much more:

early morning runs
evening runs with my 12 year old
new shoes
the corner lemonade stand put on by the kids on our street
a successful (fairly quiet) trip to the library with all 4 kids
a new cooking light dessert recipe that the whole family loves
summer break and slowing down
camping trips on the calendar
date night
my dad
selling things on craig's list
finding a great deal on craig's list
having passes to the local water park
date night - oh wait, I already mentioned that one...

I'm headed out to enjoy a kid-free evening.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Food Fight!

My son has asked to have a food fight since he was five years old. He doesn't even remember it but his desire started after watching the food fight in the movie, Hook.

We decided a food fight would be a good way to celebrate turning 12.

He agree to let his his friends smash his face in a cake to start off the fight. As we sang happy birthday, his friend treated him to some cake.

Then it was all out war.

My son was very happy.

When the food fight was over, we brought out a cooler of water balloons. This was an excellent way to finish the fight.

The balloons were fun but they didn't wash anything off the kids.
My husband had fun working on that.

Before and After:

(The boys thought the food fight was epic. My five year old daughter, on the other hand, said it was the "worst party ever." Getting splattered with food proved to be too much for her.)

Food Fight Tips and Lessons Lessons Learned:
  • Be prepared for a lot of clean-up.
  • Use drop cloths. We taped plastic sheeting for painting on our garage door and on the sides of our house. We also draped it over the bushes and flower beds next to the driveway.
  • Expect the possibility of an impromptu block party. Our neighbors, even neighbors we don't know that well, came outside, laughed, and watched the fun. 
  • If you have flour in your food fight, you should have the kids wear goggles. We considered goggles but my 12 year old did not like the idea. Getting flour in your eyes is not fun. 
  • Spaghetti noodles are fun to throw. They are not easy to clean up. If you use noodles, they need to be cooked al dente. Even then, they will be difficult to wash away and clean up as they get soggy.
  • Sodas are fun to shake up and spray at other people.
  • Have a cake to start the food fight. One of my sons says it was his favorite food to throw.
  • Water balloons are a nice way to end the fight. The food was gone, the kids were a mess, and there was a little lull in the mood. The water balloons were the perfect ending.  But note, they will do nothing (nothing) to clean up the kids.
  • Have a plan for washing the kids. Have everything you need ready. If you don't think of everything (or even if you do) you may be washing smears of food off of door handles and door frames. (Washing hands before coming inside should be a must. I could still smell mustard in my entry way for a day.)
  • Have a plan for washing the kids. Have everything you need ready. (Did I already say that? I was tending to my crying daughter and desperately wished I had been more prepared for cleaning up the kids.)
  • Go to the dollar store for food. I bought ketchup and mustard and other items that are usually more expensive at our local 99 cent store.
  • Raid your pantry for food. 
  • Food we used in the fight: cake, spaghetti with sauce, jello, beans, whipped cream pies, soda, mustard, ketchup, mashed potatoes
    • Cake- I made an extra cake just for the purposes of starting the food fight. 
    • Spaghetti- we added some sauce to make it more fun. Cook noodles al dente. Be warned again, noodles are hard to clean up.
    • Jello- I raided my pantry for jello and while it was colorful, it wasn't that fun to throw. (I think pudding would be better.)
    • Beans- Baked beans and black beans. We had beans because I had them on-hand in our pantry. 
    • Whipped cream pies- My son really wanted to throw pies. Pies are expensive. I bought several aluminum containers and the cheapest off-brand cool-whip to make our "pies." The boys reused the containers to scoop up other food and throw food pies at each other.
    • Soda- Spraying soda is fun.
    • Mashed potatoes. Use instant potatoes. Instant potatoes are easy to make. Plus, a box of instant mashed potatoes makes a lot of potatoes.
    • Ketchup and mustard- I couldn't let the food fight happen without ketchup and mustard. The mustard stained the shirts (the only thing that did) and was hard to clean up (off of bath mats and the like). I might skip mustard if we ever do this again. 
  • If you have stained shirts, you can bleach them and re-color them with color dye from a craft store. That is what we did and it worked perfectly for pink shirts to wear to local cancer benefit race on Mother's Day.
  • Take pictures and video. Get pictures printed for the kids involved. All of the boys had a blast but seeing their faces when they looked in the mirror afterwards was priceless. Provide the kids with pictures so they can remember how much fun they had and prove it to their families and friends.
After the kids were cleaned up, we had my son's real birthday cake and a night of playing video games and wrestling ensued. More than once, I heard one of the boys say, "That was epic!" 

I am linking up with We Are That Family's Works-For-Me-Wednesday. The food fight was a blast. I thought it would be good to share what worked well. Email if you have any questions.

Friday, June 07, 2013


It's summertime.
Summer doesn't officially start until June 21st but summer has arrived at my house. School is over for the school year. We are letting the kids stay up a little later. They are sleeping in. We are eating more fresh fruit. We had a water balloon fight on Wednesday. I got soaked and it was fantastic. The kids also had a water gun fight. We are headed to the water park today. We've been eating popsicles and ice cream on cones. We eat dinner on our back patio. The kids had a lemonade stand with some neighborhood friends yesterday. My husband and I sat on our front porch swing this morning before the kids woke up.

I'm loving the start of summer.

Make no mistake...

School is over for the school year. I am adjusting to having all 4 kids home, plus whichever friends stop by. The kids are staying up later so I have less "me time" at night. The kids sleep in but fight over who woke up first, or even who won because they got the most sleep. I am sad when I have to throw out berries that got mushy before they were eaten. The water balloons had to be swept up. And, sometimes kids get tired of getting sprayed with cold water. I'm anticipating at least one kid not being ready to leave the water park when it is time to go. Popsicles melt and ice cream falls off the cone. Sometimes we see bugs or (gasp) bees outside when we eat dinner. My kids didn't think the money was split up fairly after the lemonade stand. I might have mentioned yard work when I was sitting with my husband on the porch swing.

Summer isn't perfect. It's packed full of fun.  It's wonderful. And, it's real life.
I'm gonna enjoy every minute of summer as best I can.