Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Really Nice Time In Oregon!!!

Well, we have been here in Beaverton, OR now since last Friday afternoon.  Our time has gone by quickly, as it usually does, but it has been really good as well.  :-)  We came down for many reasons this trip, and we have been able to accomplish all that we had planned and wanted to do thus far, for the most part..... only a couple of exceptions!

We came this trip to see Grammy & Papa's new home, in which they have lived in for only one week prior to our arriving!!!  It feels so right, and so much like home that we haven't missed their Pumpkin Ridge home at all this entire time!  Their new home is in such a better location, and so much closer to everything we want and need to do.... it has been wonderful.  And though this new home is smaller than the other, it feels cozy and comfortable, and we all fit in here just fine.... I do believe that we all have enjoyed it immensely!!!  :-)

We also came down here to celebrate my grandfather's 93rd birthday!!!  We were able to do that with family and friends, and it was a very special time.  He is growing quite old, and slowing down rather quickly.... there is a good chance that we won't be celebrating his next birthday, so this was very special for us all.  :-)

As part of celebrating Grandpa's 93rd birthday, we also happened to get to welcome the very first day of winter, and the shortest day of the year while we have been here!  :-)

We got all of our Christmas shopping done, ate food at some really yummy restaurants, visited with family from both sides, and celebrated our family Christmases as well.  We got to meet our nieces' boyfriends, were able to get some amazing workouts in at the local 24 Hour Fitness club that is very close to Grammy & Papa's new place.  And today we will be meeting with my very close friend, Scott Taube, and his dad Gene, for a nice lunch at On The Border Mexican restaurant.  I am very much looking forward to it!!!  :-)

This afternoon we will drive to Hood River, OR, where we will enjoy the evening riding on the Polar Express train ride, which is set to be a very fun  time for Evan and Sierra!!!  We are excited to see them both light up with Christmas spirit and joy tonight.  :-)

Tomorrow we depart here and return home once again, so we can get settled back in, and so we can enjoy our own intimate family Christmas at Little Bearfoot Farm!!!

God has been so very good to us this year, and has really blessed us on this trip to Oregon.  We really only had one big negative, downer and uncomfortable moment during this whole week, and so we feel very blessed.  It has been a lot of fun, fast-paced, and very productive.... I have really enjoyed myself this time down here, and that hasn't really happened in quite a while!  :-)

So, off I go to start getting ready for another great day!  May each and every one of you who reads my blog also be blessed with the joy of Christmas, today and throughout the rest of this week.  May you be filled with the love of Jesus, and may you have good health, and happy families.  :-)

Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

3,000 Miles!!!

It may not sound like a whole lot, but for me it is a new record, and a momentous one at that.  My bike ride yesterday afternoon took me over the 3,000 mile mark for this year!!!  :-)  I am quite pleased, as this is double what my previous mileage record was!!!  And there are still days left this year to ride some more!!!  :-)

This was a very good year for me in many ways.  I have come to a new level of health and fitness in my life that I haven't had in many, many years now.  I weigh under 200 pounds for the first time in nearly 20 years!!!  I now eat well, exercise regularly, and have developed a love and passion for bicycling.  I rode a lot this year, and have enjoyed it so very much.  I am already looking forward to what next year has in store for me as far as cycling goes!!!

January will mark my two year anniversary since I started taking back my life, and began to get healthy.  Since then, I have lost 90 pounds!!!  I feel so much better, and have so much more energy.  I am no longer ashamed of myself, or how I look.  I enjoy fitness and being active.  I love being able to participate with my kids.  For me, getting my physical health restored helped me to have better mental health, Spiritual health and emotional health!  :-)

I am very hopeful that I will log at least as many miles in 2011.  Really, I would love to add even more miles!  :-)

Yes, I am happy.... healthy.... and I am a bicyclist!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Really Good Weekend!!!

This weekend went by quickly, no doubt about that!  However, we had a busy and fun-filled weekend overall, and got quite a few things accomplished.  I feel really good about that.  Friday afternoon and evening we got our tree and decorated it, and enjoyed an evening of pizza and a family movie.  On Saturday morning, Uncle Brad and myself left early to Bellingham, where we joined around 3,000 other people to run the annual Jingle Bell Run for the Arthritis Foundation.  This was a very fun run, 4 miles long, with many people all dressed up in costumes, and nearly everyone wearing jingle bells for the run!

We had a blast!!!  We both ran very well, and had no trouble with the course at all.  In fact, Brad did even better than I was expecting him to do, and we stuck together for the entire run.  Finished the 4 miles right at about 35 minutes, which gives us something to beat next year, when we attempt to do it right at 30 minutes!!!  :-)

After the run, I had to go to work.  Back at home, Tracie took Evan to his basketball game in Nooksack.  Though his team didn't fair too well, and has a lot to work on for improvement, one thing that stood out as very exciting was Evan's only basket of the game.  It came right at the final buzzer!!!  The ball was shot, but bounced off the rim.... Evan collected the rebound, moved out a few feet, turned and launched the ball at the hoop with just a second on the clock.  As the ball went through the hoop, the final buzzer sounded, ending the game.  Needless to say, though they lost the game, Evan was very excited about how things ended!!!  :-)

After Evan's game, Sierra got to go to a Christmas Party up in Sumas for the afternoon.  She had a wonderful time, as only our social little butterfly can!!!  :-)

Yesterday was a very good day.  We headed to church in the morning, which was fantastic!  After church we hit Subway and ate fresh on our way home.  We then proceeded to sit and watch the UFC 124 fight that I had record from the day before, GSP vs Koscheck..... and this made for a very enjoyable afternoon, as we sat back and relaxed in the recliners as we watched battle after battle in the Octagon!!!  To make it better, GSP dominated over Koscheck, and kept the belt!!!  :-)

As soon as we were done with the fights, it was time to head back to town, where we had an early dinner at the Olive Garden...... quite yummy, and very filling, exactly what uncle Brad and I needed to prepare for our hockey game later in the evening. 

After dinner at the O.G., we headed over to CTK for the annual family Christmas program.  We enjoyed an evening of listening to the adult choir and kids choirs sing Christmas tunes, and listened to some great Christmas stories as well.  After the program we all enjoyed cookies and coffee and hot chocolate for a while.

Next, we headed to the ice rink, where uncle Brad and I played an important game for out team, as we needed a win to improve our standings, and as this is the last game before the holiday break, and the half way point through the season!  Mommy, Evan and Sierra all came to watch us and cheer us on.  And it was good!!!  We won our game against the 3rd place team in the division, and we won it hands down, 7-1.  Of those 7 goals for our team, I scored two of them.  :-)

This made for a late night, as we didnt' get home until after 11pm.  So, the next thing I know, it is now already Monday, the last week we are here at home before leaving for Portland on Friday morning.  YIKES!!!  Time to get busy getting ready.

Today, for the first time in quite some time now, the weather looks to be promising for a bike ride, which I really am longing for, and really do need.  I hope to get out today and log those final miles that will put me over the 3,000 mile mark for the year.  :-)

There you have it.... that is our weekend in review!!!

Oh, and as of this morning, we have two sick kids, both of which are staying home from school today, and both of which had to have their dentist appointments for today re-scheduled!!!  :-(  Ay yay yay yay yay yay....

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells.....

Today was the annual Bellingham Jingle Bell Run, raising funds and awareness for the Arthritis Foundation.  This is a fantastic and fun event, made up of a 2 mile walking course, and a 4 mile running course.  People dress up in festive costumes, and bring their dogs along on the walking course.  And this year, both myself and my brother, Brad, ran the 4 mile course together.  :-)

We had a great morning, a great run, and great fun!!!  Brad did excellent, and I felt so much better and healthier and stronger and fast this year than last, it was awesome!  I felt this morning as though I could have run a half marathon, and that really pleases me greatly.  :-)

I am already looking forward to next years event, and am hopeful that Tracie and Evan and Sierra will join us for it as well next year!  :-)

On another note, today is a historical day for Grammy & Papa.  Today they officially say good-bye tho their Pumpkin Ridge home, as they move out for good and move into the next chapter of their lives, and their new home on Shady Fir Loop.  I believe there will be mixed emotions for them both today, as there are so many wonderful years and memories that belong to the Pumpkin Ridge home.  On the other hand, there will be a whole new start for them both with their new home, and so very many new memories to be made as they start the next chapter in their lives now.  Congratulations to Grammy & Papa... we look forward to visiting you very soon in your new home!!!  :-)

I just heard from Tracie a bit ago about Evan's basketball game.  Although they got beat pretty badly by the Meridian team, she was very pleased to tell me that Evan got the ball on a rebound with just seconds in the game, dribbled and turned, then launched the ball...and made the basket as the buzzer sounded, scoring one last set of points for his team to end the game!!!  Way to go my boy!!!  :-)

Sierra is off to a Christmas party for the afternoon, and she is quite excited about it.  I am at work today, and already thinking about what is on our agenda for tomorrow....

Looking forward to attending church tomorrow morning with my family.  After church, I am not exactly sure what we have planned for the afternoon.  However, we do have planned to head to Jump Around Fun Zones in Bellingham for the BFD annual Christmas Party at 6pm.  After that, we will head to the ice rink for mine and Brad's hockey game... I promised the kids they could come and watch us play tomorrow night, even though it's going to have them up late.  It should be fun, at least I hope it is!!!  :-)

Busy week ahead for us, as we are preparing to head to Portland next Friday morning, early..... so, I had better start making a list of to-do's and priorities, so we can get everything taken care of that needs to be.......

Chow for now!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Time...

It's finally beginning to look like Christmas at our place... a bit later than usual for us, but it has just been that kind of a year for us.  However, these past few days have been productive ones, and we now have outside lights on the house, and Tracie worked very hard top get the inside of our house all decorated for the season!  the place looks great!  :-)

All that is missing now is a Christmas tree.  We usually go on a Saturday to get one, make a big day of it.  This year, though, the first Saturday of the month slipped right on by us before we knew it.  This coming Saturday, I am at work, and am also running in the annual Jingle Bell Run for the Arthritis Foundation that morning!  And then next Saturday we will be in Portland!!!  And of course, the following Saturday after that is Christmas Day!!!  Oy Vay, what to do.....

We are going to go and get our tree this Friday, immediately after the kids get down with school.  We have a plan to go somewhere new this year for our tree, do something completely different.  Should be a fun adventure, and hopefully all will go well for us.  We are planning to put up our tree on Friday, and spend the evening getting it lit up and decorated.  Then we will sit back and enjoy a family movie night, along with our traditional weekly pizza night.  :-)

I am still wanting to put up more lights outside on the house, but have no way of reaching the height that I need to go.  I am seriously thinking of checking into renting a cherry picker for the day that I can use to get up and place lights on the remainder of the house.  It would look so very good if I can get it done.  Just now sure of how much money we are looking at to do this.  And of course, I would have to rent it again another day in January or February to take them all down again.  Hmmmmmmm......

So, it is already well into December.   Tracie and I have not done any Christmas shopping together yet.  We have no real idea of what our kids want for Christmas (with exception that Sierra pretty much wants everything!!!).  We don't know what to get each other, nor do we know what to get other family members or friends and loved ones!!!  It is driving us mad!!! 

On the bright side, we have been blessed enough to be able to pay it forward this year by giving to our CTK food bank the past two weeks.  We took a bunch of our farm raised pork and beef to donate, and it felt really good to do so.  We are also going to be putting money towards this years CTK Blessing when we go to church this weekend, and we are quite excited about that as well.  And finally, we are seriously looking at sponsoring another child, perhaps a girl in Africa.  We are praying about this right now.

So, things are going well for us.  NO, far from perfect.  In fact, we struggle every day with lots of little things.  But we realize that we are truly blessed, and we have two beautiful and wonderful children that God has given to us to call our own.  Life is very good, even with the daily struggles of life that we face, and the craziness of our schedules.  Life is very good!!!  :-)

May each and every one of you who visit my blog be blessed this Christmas.  May your hearts be overflowing with the joy and love of Jesus, and the reason why we celebrate Christmas!  Merry Christmas to you all, and a very Happy New Year as well.  :-)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Welcome to December!!!

Amazing..... it is December 3rd today, and the first weekend of December is here already!!!  What can I say?  I am not prepared, and not yet ready for the holidays to be here.  Nothing is ready, the list is long, the time is short, and I have been off of my bike now for way too long... still just 10 miles shy of reaching my 3,000 mile goal for the year.

We have lights to put up outside, a house that needs decorating inside, a Christmas tree to pick out and put up, and a myriad of other things on our list that need to get done this month as well.

Tomorrow is Evan's very first basketball game, 10am in Blaine.  It should be fun, as Evan hasn't had much basketball experience before!  After the game, I hope that Evan and I can have a few hours together outside putting up Christmas lights... and then we will all head to Lynden for the annual lighted parade at 6pm  :-)

I work again on Sunday, so tomorrow is mine and Evan's only time to really work together on lights, which is something I promised him way back when... and he is looking forward to it.  So, hopefully we can make some good progress tomorrow afternoon.

In just two weeks from today we will be heading to Portland to visit with family.... to see Grammy and Papa's new home, to celebrate my grandfather's 93rd birthday, and to celebrate Christmas with everyone both of our families, since no one will be coming up north this year to join us.  In addition, we will be hauling a whole mess of beef and pork with us to deliver to several customers in Oregon.

I pulled my groin this past Wednesday night wile playing ice hockey.... I am quite sore, and it is going to be a slow recovery I suspect.  I am hopeful that I will still be able to run and ride my bike, at least keep going with my fitness routine.  I have been out of sorts with my workouts for the past couple of months, and am really needing to get back at it hard once again.  I have about 10 more pounds that I would really like to shed before getting my body composition doen again in January of 2011.  :-)

So, time for me to sit and make a list, get organized, and get busy!!!  Wish me luck  :-)

I hope that you all are way less stressed than I am at this time, and that yo uall have significantly way less to get done than I do right now!!!  :-)

Merry Christmas!!!