Monday, May 24, 2010

Mid-American Canoe Race - The practice edition

    The Mid-American canoe race is one that I have wanted to do for a long time.  My Dad has told a few stories of when he did it when he was younger and I always thought it sounded like fun.  A few years ago, Casey mentioned that he thought it would be fun to do.  Fast-forward a few years and here we are registered and ready to go.
    Yesterday right after church, Casey and I decided to take our first practice run.  The water is running relatively fast so we did pretty well.  We didn't exactly go in a straight line the whole way but we never had much of a problem correcting our flaws. The difference will come when there are hundreds of canoes out there to navigate along with.  I'm just hoping that we don't turn the race into a demolition derby. If that happened though it would be memorable.  I'm sure Charlie would like to hear about that story growing up.  It might even push him to want to do the race or one similar to it when he gets older. We did have a couple of instances where things got interesting.  The first one was when we boated right into someone's fishing line.  It's funny at first, then panic sets in when you realize that there is a hook on the end of the string that is quickly moving up to the surface.  Luckily I had a life jacket on when the hook hit me.  No damage done!  The second issue was in the last 30 feet of our trip.  I'm not going to give details (no we didn't tip), but Casey did say, "This is embarassing, I'm glad this is happening under a bridge."  He was right on both parts.  Luckily we figured it out and finished our trip with few flaws.
    I am really looking forward to the race.  We're not expecting to win or place, we just don't want to be the last guys coming in at the end winning the perseverance award.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

10. Nancy Young Run for Fun

What a day!  5K to start the day.  Neighborhood garbage day which meant filling up the van and bringing a load of trash, the big stuff that doesn't fit into the normal can to a garbage truck waiting down the street.  After that, I mowed the lawn.  When the girls were napping Melissa went out to run errands and I played with Charlie for about an hour.  What a great hour! I don't get too many times with just Charlie.  Next I pulled Hannah and Madeline to the grocery store on my bike to pick up buns for dinner.  I grilled Hot dogs.  After that I gave the girls a bath.  From there I suited up for my softball game (we won), and stayed around to ump the next game. On the way home I started one of my allergic reactions where I get hives and my eyes swell up. What a day!
Over the past few months I have been terrible at getting out to run.  With the kids being sick and other commitments I am responsible for this spring I have gotten out very little.  That is my disclaimer for the quality of my run. My race today was my school's third annual Run for Fun.  I have really started to enjoy this race as it is a chance interact with them differently than I do the other 5 days of the week. I've run the race every year now, but this year there wasn't a trophy to add to my collection.  Matt, you will love to know that one block shoe came untied!  I definitely heard about it from all of the people that passed me. It's never fun to be the person stopped at the side of the road one block into the race. It didn't hurt me too bad, it just meant that I had to weave my way through a lot of people to catch back up to where I was. I had 6 students beat me this year.  I came in 25th place.  The 6 kids that finished in front of me did great.  I was really proud of them.  At the end of the race I had two of them not too far ahead, but when I started to make my sprint to pass them before the finish line, they also began sprinting to try to beat each other.  There was no way I would be able to catch them.  They had a great photo finish.  It was fun to watch.  I kept it under 23 minutes which is always good, but I was no where near my goal of 20:30. Hopefully I'll get another run in this summer where I can beat it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

78. Ride my bike to work

I rode my bike to work today.  I cheated a little bit by driving to the mechanic then riding from there, but I still took the strides to ride rather than have someone pick me up and drive me from there.
Riding my bike to work has been a great change of pace for me.  Each time I ride I try to challenge myself to ride as hard as I can to beat my best times.  I still haven't cracked the 15 minute mark on my way home, but it is definitely possible.  It all comes down to getting one traffic light and the amount of traffic on Route 31.  If I can time those right I really think I can do it. 
I am going to try to ride a few times next week.  Its going to be really hot, but I will be ok. I have gotten into a good routine and I don't want to break it.  I'm saving gas too!  Not that I put too many miles on the car anyway.
One more down!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

One year remaining

I have one year left.  May 19, 2011 is my finish date.  Looking at my list, I've done a lot!  Many things I am sure I would never have done without having this list.  I think my favorite thing that I have done is writing the girls' songs.  Melissa and I sing them those songs each night as they are going to bed.  They both sing along.  I love that moment each night.  I will probably wait a year to write one for Charlie.  That way I can know his personality a little better.
Hopefully in the last year I will be able to get everything completed.  I am pretty sure I will be able to get it all done.  It will be great to get it done and begin working on another list.  Can't wait!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

18. Make meals for the family

Tonight we had our last supper.  At least the last dinner that I will be counting for my list.  Originally I had this goal as just making dinner once a month, then I decided to change it up and just put down to make 25 meals.  It was my way of getting it done before may of 2011.
I've enjoyed this one.  It has given me an opportunity to learn my way around the kitchen and be proud to be able to produce something edible.  Before beginning this list I wasn't too adventurous with making dinners. Mac and Cheese out of the box was about as far as I was comfortable as I was to make food.  Now, I feel pretty comfortable coming up with dinner quickly if I need to.
Last night I made dinner #24.  Trisha was over and I made burgers, fries (from scratch) and some grilled asparagus.  It was a good dinner.  I will definitely be making this one again a few times this summer.
Tonight Maddie and I made a new family favorite.  I've made it a few times over the past two years.  It turned out pretty good.  I had to improvise a couple of times on the recipe, and it turned out pretty good.

 Maddie wasn't feeling so good today so she only got to enjoy mashed potatoes and some crackers.  She sure does look happy in this picture.

I only took one picture of Hannah.  After looking at this one I'm thinking I probably should have taken another.  Nice hair Hannah!

Now that this goal is done, I am not done cooking meals for the family.  The purpose of the goal was to become more comfortable in the kitchen and to give Melissa a break now and then.  I think I accomplished both things.  I'm happy with what I have learned and look forward to future meals to come.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

90. 3,000 miles was so close

My car isn't exactly a high-end car.  It runs alright and has been extremely dependable. It's main use is for when either Melissa and I go out on our own.  Otherwise, we use the van.
On my first day to school this year (August, 19th 2009) I passed 109,000 miles in the car.  As the year went along I was noticing how few miles I was putting on from month to month. From home to my school is 4 miles.  The trip to Jewel (grocery store) is 1 mile.  To get to Aurora University is 3 miles.  Needless to say, that car doesn't travel too far. It wasn't until February or March that I started to wonder if I could go the whole school year keeping under 3,000 miles.  I started to bike more to stores or even take the girls in the stroller when I wanted to jog over to Jewel.  I felt like I was on track but the miles slowly added up and this week, as Melissa was headed out to run some errands, it crossed the 112,000 mark. 22 more days and the goal would have been met.
I'm proud for how few miles I went over those 8 1/2 months.  I'm proud of using my bike and the stroller more to get around. It feels good to get some exercise in when running routine errands.  I've even found that when riding my bike it takes just a few minutes longer than when in the car.  I see that as being worth it.
It should get even better as far as using alternate modes of transportation.  Melissa found a trailer for me to pull the girls along in when I go out on bike rides. This will mean that I can take them out even farther than just the grocery store.  I'm excited to start using it and to take the girls around town.

Friday, May 7, 2010

5. EDU 8010 Research Methods

This class was a ton of work. The class topic dealt with research and it was pretty intense from January all the way to May. It was so much work that Melissa took the kids all the way to Ohio for almost 5 days to give me time to write.  Without that time, I would have been in trouble to get everything accomplished.  The funny thing is, I didn't really procrastinate.  I used 24 sources for that paper. That's a lot of reading! I think that beats my previous best of 12.  There was a lot of reading that needed to be done for this class.  Nothing that couldn't be accomplished, but just a lot.  Some was fun, some was just boring and dry.  I am so glad this class is over. 
Our final paper that was due was actually the beginnings of one chapter of our dissertation (that's the big paper I need to write in order to graduate).  It feels funny starting on it already, but at the same time it is exciting.  It's great to have the feeling of knowing that what I am doing now is actually going to be used in part as my final paper.  We'll see how much it changes or gets revision over the coming years.  Hopefully not much.
I decided to wildcard the accountability group with the guys because I don't have the time.  Honestly, our small group is struggling to find time to meet, I don't need another commitment that I might not be able to keep up with.  For my next list this might make it, but for now I just don't have the time.
On a side note related to time.  Our lawn is 10 inches high maybe higher.  That's an estimate, but Melissa will tell you that I'm pretty good at estimating.  I haven't mowed in 3 weeks and it is really showing. It could be a positive to say that I am helping it by allowing all the grass to produce it's own seed. I was hoping to mow when I got home today, but rain is forcasted all day.
Another goal down!  I've got 6 weeks until my next class starts.  I'm hoping to check off some goals during that time. I'm thinking that getting 11 or 12 goals done in that time is possible.  We shall see.