What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

What have I gotten myself into?  I seriously asked myself this question today.  Landon and I are officially registered for our first half marathon on Saturday, October 27 in Kingsport, TN.  We have been training for several weeks now.  

Let me first say that I am not athletic.  I have never enjoyed playing sports of any kind.  I don't like to sweat, and I have terrible hand-eye coordination.  I was ecstatic to join the band in the sixth grade because it meant I no longer had to go to PE. 

I started "running" a few years ago, but I never would have imagined I would ever even attempt a half marathon in my lifetime.  About four years ago, I was at the park with some friends letting the kids play after preschool.  We were sitting out on a blanket and Casey Mackie got up and started running.  She came back in what seemed like no time at all and said she just ran a mile.  It amazed me because I can't tell you if I had ever run a mile before then.  I told her there was no way I could do that and she said sure you can, come on and I'll run with you.  I was very unsure, but I thought I simply had to try.  So, Trish and I ran a mile with Casey encouraging us along the way.  We did it!  I will never forget it.  It was monumental for me.

Two years ago, Landon and I ran in our first 5K in Cookeville on Thanksgiving morning.  It was exhilarating.   It was exciting and once again something I never imagined myself doing.  I knew I wanted to do more and even wanted to start training for a half in my near future.  However, shortly after that we sold our house, was then knee deep in a remodel, got pregnant a few months later, and you know the rest.  I had a goal that I wanted to run one this fall.  I'm not getting any younger, so I thought it's now or never. 

For my birthday, Landon got me a gps watch for running.  I usually use my phone with the Nike running app.  I am really electonically challenged.  I can't even operate our television.  I have to have Logan do it for me.  We have SO MANY remotes!  Landon set up my watch for me with all of my music from itunes.  He also got me some wireless earphones that sync to the watch or any other device.  I was going to use them in the Glow in the Dark 5K race last night, but my ears are too small for them and I didn't know how to operate the watch.
 I am SO proud of Megan Holland for being moved to compassion and organizing this event to raise money for clean water in Africa.
Today, we were scheduled to run ten miles!!  I decided to use my new watch to try it out.  We got a little way down the road and I realized it was set on kilometers instead of miles.  I'm a little obsessed with checking my pace and distance so I knew this might be a problem.  I know I was annoying Landon by asking him the distance so often, but I couldn't help myself. 
I also hadn't figured out how to change the songs.  I get easily bored with songs and change them frequently.  The watch picks songs according to your pace.  It started out with Toby Mac which was perfect to run to, then it ended up playing slow praise and worship songs.  Don't get me wrong, I like them and listen to them often.  It's just uninspiring to run to with every song slow!  It was a little discouraging because I didn't think I was running that slow.  haha.  By the middle of mile eight, I was really thirsty, and with very inappropriate timing, I was listening to a song yet another slow praise and worship song about thirsting for God.  It did not help. 
I ended up only making it to 9.2 miles before I had to stop and walk.  I really hate that instead of being able to celebrate running that far, instead I feel like a failure by not reaching my goal.

I got home and Julie had sent me a few texts to see how it went.  This was our conversation...

I do know in order for me to actually run the whole 13.1, all conditions will have to be working together for me...all electonics must be working properly, I must be hydrated , and the weather must be just right.  I hope we can stay injury free until then!

It is still daunting, but I have enjoyed doing this together with Landon, who beats me every time.  That makes me a little mad, but I am proud of him!  I am excited and nervous at the same time, but just a few months ago, I had to completely start over.  If I can do it, anyone can!


FIAR: How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

This week in our Five in a Row series, we studied the book How to Make and Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman. 
It was the perfect week to study this book because the temperatures began to cool as the changing of seasons is upon us. I LOVE fall!! It is my favorite season and I completely agree with George Eliot in his quote about fall: "Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."

This was a cute book that we all enjoyed!!  An apple pie is easy to make...if the market is open. But if the market is closed, the world becomes your grocery store. This deliciously silly recipe for apple pie takes readers around the globe to gather ingredients. First hop a steamboat to Italy for the finest semolina wheat. Take a train ride to France for a chicken for elegant eggs.  Then get any way you can to Sri Lanka for cinnamon.  Next, hitch a ride to England and hijack a cow for the freshest possible milk. Take a banana boat to Jamacia for some sugar, and, oh yes! Don't forget to go apple picking in Vermont!  It sounds like my kind of way to make an apple pie!  I love to travel.

We took a trip to the Apple Orchard this week.  However, it didn't go as planned.  I will spare all the details, but I may or may not have had an uncharactersitic (for me) confrontation with a not-so-friendly older woman.   Julie got a kick out of seeing me lose it.  We didn't end up getting to take the tour as we had planned, but we still had a great time and enjoyed a beautiful day! 
Apples, Apples, Apples!
Fall puts me in the mood to cook (it's about the only time of the year).  Of course, since our whole book was about making an apple pie, we had to make one.  It was my first pie I have ever made.  It was family approved, so we'll try that one again.
The boys helped me.  They love to help in the kitchen.
Here's the recipe we used:
6 tbs unsalted butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup water
1 15 oz pkg double crust ready-to-use pie crust
4 large red apples
1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2.  Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in white sugar, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and  
3.  Peel, and slice apples.
4.  Unroll pie crusts, press one into a 9-inch pie pan.  Put apples in pie pan.  Unroll the second crust   
     and cut into strips.  Weave the strips over the apples.   Crimp crust together.
5.  Spoon caramel sauce over pie, letting it drizzle through the pie. 
6.  Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce hear to 350 degrees and bake until crust is golden
     brown, about 35-40 minutes.  
We also made some caramel apples.  YUMMO!
Logan asks for this cake every year.  It's not fall unless I make this one☺
Apple Cider Pound Cake

3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup butter
6 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup apple cider
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking soda

In a saucepan, combine sugar, eggs, and butter.  In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together, then add mixture from saucepan.  Put into a greased bunt pan at 325 for 70 minutes.  Combine icing ingredients in saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. While cake is warm, drizzle icing on top of cake.
Here are a few books we read in addition to our Five in a Row book.
3 in 1 by Joanne Marxhausen (I LOVE THIS ONE!  It's a great explanation on the Trinity using an apple)
We also did a taste test with five different types of apples.  This was a fun experiment.
 I sliced them up and put them on a plate for them to try and see which one they liked the best.
This was interesting to see because I always buy Gala apples because they are my favorites, but neither one of them picked that one.  I guess I will start buying different apples☺
This doesn't surprise me.  Lucas, my Sour Skittles loving child, picks the tartest of them all.
Here is our book we put together.
Next week to France with Madeline.


FIAR: The Story About Ping & China

Last week in our Five in a Row study we read The Story About Ping by Marjorie FlackWe ended up reading this for a week then we spent the next week doing a unit on China.
Ping is the name of a domesticated duck who lives on a riverboat on the Yangtze River in China. He gets sent out every morning to go along the river with his relatives, and is expected back every evening. The last duck on the boat would get a swat with a stick and one day he is the last duck. He is afraid to return and spends the night on shore. When he awakens his boat is gone and he is soon caught by a boy on another boat where he worries about becoming their dinner. After some time the boy lets Ping go just as all his duck relatives are getting back on Ping's boat nearby. Ping rejoins his family and happily receives the last duck swat.
We played a sequencing game and raced to put them in order. 
We played a trivia game with questions from the book.
They made lots of game pieces, so we can play 2-13 players.
We learned lots about ducks and how their feathers are created with oil so they are waterproof.  We did an experiment with oil and water to show how they don't mix.

We also did another similar experiment with layering liquids. 
Click here  for the instructions.  I didn't use the lamp oil on the top because I didn't have any.  It still worked well. 
Landon's mom makes really good eggrolls so we went to her house and the boys helped make them.
In the story, Ping snatched a rice cake from a little boy's hand.  We went to Cane Creek Park and fed the ducks some rice cakes.  It was a beautiful day and they liked being up close to all the ducks.
Here is our book we created: 
We watched the story being read on this youtube link:

I hated to take a break in our Five in a Row study, but I wanted to study China more in depth. We used Amanda Bennett's Unit Study: Expedition China. I must admit, I knew very little about China so I learned along with the boys.
We learned about the Great Wall of China...
...and made our own.
Here's how to make your own:
Materials needed:
-Styrophone sheets
-Foam board
-watercolor paint
-finger paint
-hot glue gun
I used a large sheet of Styrophome and drew the lines I wanted to cut.
Cut away!  I used several different knifes to try and make it cut easiest.  I found that a box cutter worked the best.  This part felt like it might take as long to complete as the Great Wall of China being built, and my hand cramped up.  Landon came in and helped me finish.
This was VERY messy.
Glue down the first row on the foam board. 
Cut out cardboard and glue down for the walkway, then add a few more layers.  Landon and I had a competition on building the towers on the ends.  The boys voted on who made the best one.  We tied.  Logan voted for Landon and Lucas voted for me.
They painted the styrophome to look like stone using watercolors.
We used fingerpaint along the base on the foam board.  Add moss and trim the foam board.
We also watched Modern Marvels: The Great Wall of China documentary on Netflix. 
We learned about the Yangtze River, the setting of The Story About Ping.
Inventions from China:
We didn't master this.  It is much harder than the video we watched made it appear.
Landon built this frame with a screen stapled to the back.
They loved tearing up the paper strips.
Logan now wants to go to China and Lucas wants to see Panda Bears.