A Whole Lotta Stuff

We've been getting pickup truck loads of mulch to till into our garden this fall. It's always a family project getting the mulch from the truck to the garden. My job usually involves taking pictures and making sure everyone takes their shoes off before they come inside. This last load turned into a playground for the kids ....
Maybe mulch makes children grow as well as vegetables.

Way Up There

Who came out of the shower saying they had a surprise?

What was it?
A pencil eraser

Where was it?
He had just blown it out of his nose

How long had it been up there?
A week

Who thinks that is cool?
An 8-year old boy

How many people can say that they've run a half-marathon with a pencil eraser stuck up their nose?
A mighty small number

I'm with them!

I hope that having athletic people in my family makes me look athletic too ...
We headed off to Richmond, VA last weekend for the Suntrust Richmond Marathon. This is Cletus' fourth marathon and his second time running in Richmond. As a cheerleader, this is by far the easiest marathon to watch. They make it quite an experience. After all, it is called America's Friendliest Marathon.
Hayden had also trained to run. He was planning on racing in the 8K. The 8K started at 7, the half-marathon started at 730, and the marathon started at 8. Even though we left the hotel at 6:30 and it was only about 6 miles away, we way underestimated the amount of time it would take to maneuver our way around in downtown Richmond with several roads blocked off. So, after quite a lot of stress and some tears, we got Hayden to the starting line about 10 minutes after the 8K group had left. He was devastated. While I was parking the car, Cletus convinced him to run the half-marathon! What a brave boy ... here he is with the deer-in-the-headlights look. He took a cell phone with him, and off he went!
Meanwhile, Cletus got ready to run his marathon. The shorts he is wearing are some that I made for him to wear around the house as pajamas. They have brightly colored frogs all over them. Anyway, it turns out that they're super comfortable to run in and he got lots of compliments on them along the way.

After 5 or 6 phone calls along the way (mile 8: "mom, I'm doing great .. I don't even feel bad at all! mile 10: "mom, I'm starting to break down" mile 11: "mom, mile 11"), he finished! I was so proud of him! As I saw him coming down the last stretch, I started crying. He got a huge cheer from the crowd as he finished. As people were remarking on his age and being quite surprised and impressed, I was crying and saying, "That's my boy!". For those of you (like me) who aren't runners, an 8K is about 5 miles and a half-marathon is 13 miles. Quite a difference. What a trooper!

After Hayden finished his race, we still had about an hour and a half to wait until it was time to cheer Cletus over the finish line. Luckily, there was food, music, and a juggler/magician that had my kids entertained for about an hour.

Hayden was so transfixed watching this man, it was quite entertaining for me. His favorite was when this guy juggled batons that were lit on fire. He just couldn't get enough.

He is the parting shot before we headed on home: Greg (a friend that came along with us and ran the marathon with Cletus), a freezing cold and sore Cletus, and a tired Hayden. It was a fun (and busy!) day and we were all happy to get in the car and head home.
By the way, where is my medal for entertaining a 2-year old for 7 HOURS in downtown Richmond while we were waiting for our boys? See those blue porta-potties in the background? We made too many trips to visit while we were there. Kate was really interested in them and wanted to touch and explore inside. I have been in many porta-potties in my life, but I have to say that those were some of the most disgusting, over-used potties I have ever seen. Kate touching anything inside grossed me out so much that I made her fold her arms the whole time we were inside - hopefully she doesn't relate this at all to praying. I started making her fold her arms after she pointed to the urinal, touched it inside and said, "what's that?". Hand sanitizer was our closest friend.
So, after Cletus finished running and he was in quite a lot of pain and discomfort, he asked me to remind him how he feeling right then in case he ever wanted to attempt running again. He compared how he felt to childbirth.
The comparison must have been quite far-fetched, because he's already signed up for his next race.

The many faces of an 8-year old

Hayden has always loved putting on a show for us. He is our drama boy. Anything that will make us laugh is his agenda. He is pretty entertaining ....

His pretending to fall out of his chair while we were camping face,

His Harry Potter spell-casting face at Halloween,

His Halloween Busch Garden trip with dad face (also called, mom would never let me get my face painted like this if she were there face)

Looking polite over his birthday cake and getting ready to blow out these cheap candles that melted down to the cake in about 20 seconds face,

My favorite, his sweet baptismal face,

And, finally, his Cub Scout face. He has been a scout for two weeks and has already memorized that scout oath and the motto.
Happy Birthday, Hayden. We love all of your faces.