Friday, May 30, 2008

Running Without Dad

We continued a yearly tradition this year of going to run in the Avon Eagle Run. Levi has run this either 4 or 5 times now. They put on a very nice kids run, every kid gets a shirt and a trophy and plenty of food (pizza, fruit, cookies). They also have face-painting, clowns, and a DJ. "Rae" warmed up by doing the limbo, the chicken dance, and the macarena.

I've run the 5-mile race the past couple years, but was on the sideline this year due to my hernia.

"Levi" took the race pretty seriously. He started conservatively and moved his way up. Around 1/4 mile he was about one third of the way back, poised and ready for the frontrunners to start fading. By the next time I saw him, with less than 1/4 mile to go, he was moving into 3rd place. He passed one more kid but finished 6 seconds behind the winner with a 5:21 time for the short (we think) course.

"Bess" started off with "Rae". She has learned that running is more fun when she takes it easy, runs steady, and doesn't try to compete with her older brother. She ran even all the way and finished in 7:14.

Rae took a few walk breaks but still finished in 7:48. After the race, she said "I would have run 7:14 if Bess would have stayed with me."

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Spring Break

The kids were with me from Tuesday night until Sunday night of Spring Break. We did several fun things.

"Bess" and "Rae" and I have been reading Harry Potter books together. I had made a rule several years ago that the kids could not watch the movies until they had read the books. Well we had just finished the first book so on Tuesday night & Thursday morning we watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Wednesday night I took "Nolan", "Levi", and "Bess" to see Boys Like Girls and Avril Lavigne in concert. We parked by Tower City and walked over to CSU. Everybody enjoyed the concert, especially Levi who sang along to almost every song. Here is a review I found online at Cleveland Leader

As we walked back to the car, we passed some people walking out of the Cavs game. One man tried to hand me a paper and said "Join me in my boycott of the Cavalier Girls in Jesus name."

I laughed and said, "No thanks" and as we were walking away he called out, "Protect your eyes, children."

A few blocks later we encountered an older man holding a cup and asking for money. As we walked past he said, "Stay in school, kids." So the kids definitely got a "street education" that night.

Thursday we went to Boston Market for Jay's birthday lunch, and after that we went to the IX Indoor Amusement Park. The boys rode a few rides and then got grumpy and wanted to go home. Meanwhile the girls and "Gabe" and I had a blast!

Thursday night Victoria left for Columbus for her Shoegasm trip, so the kids and I got Romeo's Pizza on our way home. Friday night I delivered pizza, Saturday we had 2 indoor soccer games, and on Sunday I had a NSCAA soccer coaching class while everybody else went to church.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Academic Challenge

I went to Levi's 2nd academic challenge match yesterday. This one was especially fun because it was against his cousin's team (my niece). Both kids did well. Levi answered 12 right and his cousin got 4 right, including the current events question "On February 3rd, who won the Super Bowl?"

Levi's school won 61-41. They have won both of their matches now. His adviser asked me to volunteer at the next one in March.

My mom was there also and then I spent the afternoon with her, we visited 2 sets of elderly aunts & uncles, both uncles are in poor health. One is recovering from a stroke, while the other is fading due to old age (mid 90's).

I then picked up the kids from school, dropped my mom back at her house, and came home for the evening. Dinner, homework, video games & tv, bedtime snacks & stories, it was about as "normal" as it gets for us.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Log Cabin Craft

"Bess" and I are getting ready to go to Michael's Crafts for the kids club craft. We just checked online and today's craft is a log cabin.

I've written about this before, but this is one of the best bargains around and my kids love it!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Rae

I've neglected posting here for a couple months but I'm going to try to catch up. Some posts may be posted well after their post date.

Rae's birthday was in December. It was the night of her school Christmas program and also it was a night I was supposed to have parenting time with them. Since we wouldn't get home until right before bedtime, we worked out a compromise so that I would take them for a snack and then they would go back home and go to bed at their mother's.

I had a gift for Rae, a Furreal Friend. It's a battery operated stuffed dog that reacts in different ways when you play with him. Except that it didn't come with a battery.

After going to Burger King for a snack and to open her gift, we had to stop at the local Walgreen's, buy some batteries, and beg to use a screwdriver. I wanted to make sure her new toy was working before she went back to her mom's.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Our Good Deed For The Day

After church I planned to drive my kids back out to their mom's. Stepdaughter "Hazel" was having some friends over for tea.

Well when we got to church we saw it was "food delivery" Sunday. Every year around the holidays our church collects food for the poor. They then box it up and people from the church volunteer to deliver it. Each box is clearly marked who it is for, how many adults and how many kids, and comes with a Mapquest map.

Since I had built in some extra time before I had to have the kids back to their mom's, I volunteered us to take 3 of the boxes of food. There were over 80 boxes in all, as we attend a pretty large church.

First grader "Rae" has been known to be embarrassingly blunt so we had a little discussion on the way about what kind of remarks or questions not to ask people in front of them so as not to hurt their feelings.

After the first delivery the kids remarked "they didn't look poor" but at the 2nd delivery there was a toddler running around in just a diaper and a horribly dirty fish tank. And the woman at the 3rd delivery said that she was now "living in her landlady's basement."

The kids enjoyed helping carry the food. Besides the big box, there was a bag of apples for each family and also a bag with some frozen meat (chicken and beef) for each family. Hopefully it will be a lesson in helping others and also in being thankful for what we have.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Working With Dad

The local drama club always comes to the pizzeria where I work every year after putting on their play. Usually we are unprepared and the order-takers and cooks are overwhelmed. Since I have a stepdaughter in the play this year, I was aware of the schedule and volunteered to show up and help out for an hour or so.

Since this was a night that I had my kids, and since they had helped buss the tables after a soccer team party a few weeks ago, I let them come along and help.

"Levi" helped set up chairs for the large group. "Bess" and "Rae" helped serve drinks, refilling soda pitchers and passing out cups, lids, and straws. All 3 kids helped fold pizza boxes while the drama kids were eating. The girls also helped driver (and part-time waitress) Kristie to take down the salad bar.

And they all 3 helped buss the tables after the drama group left, dumping pop into our "big red bucket", paper and food waste in the trash, and dishes to be washed into the dish tubs.

Kristie made over $50 in tips on the group, and she was nice enough to share $2 each with my 3 kids.

I've found that when kids know what they are doing and have tasks they are capable of accomplishing, they actually like to pitch in and work. This is especially true when they see others around them working also.