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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Broken In With 10,000 Steps

I am doing my best to be active and to start exercising more as my doctor says. I was able to report yesterday at my appointment that I have indeed exercised. I have been able to get out and walk and ride my bike and get on my elliptical. I even had a couple days last week where my phone step-counter read 10,000 or a little more.

Problem was, my shins hurt. Bad. I got a blister on each foot the first day I was out. But...look at this beautiful trail. I never knew where they went but I have had the chance to go down each turn and get acquainted with the middle green areas of my city.

David and I decided that after six or so years of wearing the same tennis shoes we should actually invest in some good shoes once again. So, since Famous Footwear is doing their BOGO sale as they so conveniently do before school starts, we left in pairs David / I and Ryan / Matt. So four of us so far have new shoes. I got $10 off in the sale and another $5 of rewards.

So, even though my 6:30 a.m. goal of getting up to walk usually turns out to be more like 7:15 a.m., I got up and put on my new shoes. LOVE THEM! Grey camo with hot pink trim is fun and the support while I walked was great. No sore shins and no blisters!

I love to walk on the trail with the only problem being that the tiny pieces of gravel get into my shoe. But, if I wear thicker socks, I don't notice it so much. I get to put in my ear buds and listen to my podcasts I am so hopelessly behind in.

I am not big into how many steps I have walked in a day, my goal is to just get out into the beauty of God's earth and walk. I love my new shoes and think that I picked them out well.

Although this isn't helping the number on the scale at all, it is doing a world of good to my soul. The path was pretty quiet this morning. I did meet Ryan and the cross country guys on my way back doing their Thursday run. And I saw my elementary P.E. teacher out on his morning walk as well. There were a couple of bikers but other than that it was peaceful and quiet on my walk. I am thankful for the things I have learned in the last year. I think back a year ago when I was recovering from surgery and looking ahead to when I would be starting chemo.

The Lord has taken our family on quite a journey this year. I have loved the feeling of my muscles working in ways they haven't in a long time as I take my steps along the path. It was a great morning breaking in new shoes. After the first 10,000 steps I am excited for all the rest of the steps I will take in them.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

I Can't Drive 55 (Apparently)

I am here today to announce that the experiment is finished. I am done, no longer am I going to stick to my normal safe (but a little too fast) driving habits. The experiment goes like this...

Jody drives a navy blue mini van for 13 years              =          NO speeding tickets
Jody drives a red mini van for 8 months                       =           TWO speeding tickets
(driving all the same places in the same town and down the same roads)

I think that I need to trade in my red van for a "blend in" blue or brown or gray. Yes, you guessed it, last week I drove into another speed trap. It is usually in a place where I am coming down a hill decelerating but not fast enough to stay in the range between the speed limit signs that progressively land at 25 mph or a stop light.

Zachary and a scout friend were with me and we were coming back from Wakonda where they had finished up their archery merit badges. We were talking about the shooting and how hot it was, and other things that 10-11 yr old boys talk about.

"Do you know why I stopped you M'am?"
"Well, I must not have been slowing down fast enough".
"Where are you heading?"
"We are coming back from scout camp where the boys earned their first merit badge"
"Can I have your license and registration?"

Then he went back to the car and printed me out my 12 mph over the speed limit because he clocked me right where the 55 mph turned into 50. There were three other vehicles around me as we came over that hill, two in front of me in each lane and one out my back driver's side window. None of them were red. Hmmm. Just a little food for thought.

I have resorted to using my cruise control all over town. Sign says 35, I will set my cruise for 35. Do you know how many people I tick off as they speed around me to get past? You should see their angry faces. I can only say that I have a red van and will observe the speed limit signs to the best of my ability from now on.

The officer came back to me and handed all the stuff into the window.

"Drive safe now"
NOD...(thinking in my head: Drive safe? I was driving safe, just 12 miles over.) Sigh

Saturday, July 15, 2017

A Week at Camp

He looks much older to his mom.
There was another scout camper gone this week. Matthew had his day camp in early June, Ryan's camp went in mid-June and Zachary's troop went this week. As I write he is returning this morning. It is the longest time he has been away from home outside of family.

He did mention last Saturday as we were helping with packing things up to get ready to go, that he thought that it may be a long time for him and he wasn't sure he could be gone from home that long. My heart was a little heavy as I dropped him off to meet his troop. He is very independent and I wasn't disappointed on Wednesday night when we went up to have dinner with him on family night.

I am glad the week went well for him. He did tell me on Wednesday night that he is looking forward to being home and comfortable. I asked him what he meant and he said that he just likes to have a comfortable place to sit and to sleep. He loves archery and was a little disappointed that their eagle track plan of sleeping under the stars ended up in a cabin at Waubeek because of threatening weather.

Sharing with Dad what has happened so far
I was very proud when he told us that he tried to take the swim test again at camp and he passed without any problem. The troop had a test night at the pool last month to see if they were a beginner or swimmer (deep end) and he wasn't able to swim four times down and back (it has been awhile that he has been in swimming lessons). So, when he told us that he asked to try again at camp I was so happy to hear that he took the initiative. He is a swimmer and was able to enjoy the pool even more because he tried and succeeded!

He showed us his tent and where his troop camps. Things seemed a little damp but he told me it had dried out since Monday. At one point of the week before we saw him on Wednesday, David mentioned he was up in the night thinking about Zach when it stormed the first night. I admitted I had woke up a couple times in the night and prayed that he would be okay. Zachary is usually very concerned when weather is rough at our home so thinking of him in a tent...well, I am his mom.  David and I talked about it on the way home. Both of us were so happy to hear him tell us that he slept through the whole night of the storm.

Always have to pose at the weather rock!
Zach's tent for the week.
A mom selfie just for fun!
It has been a little quieter in our house this week and so I am looking forward once again to having music playing from the computer Note Flight program as Zach works out a few more parts in the songs he is composing. It is almost time to start thinking and planning for sixth grade. But not quite yet and I am glad!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Not So Little Mermaid

I had a request from a not so little anymore daughter to make her a mermaid tail. I made one for my niece last year for her birthday. Stacey even went as far as to show me a pattern on Pinterest and pointed out that this is one that could be made in one night.

Well, I wasn't so sure until I looked at the pattern and it used a Q crochet hook and four strands of yarn! No, we wouldn't be making that one, but if she would like to come downstairs with me, I had something I would show her. To her excitement, I pulled out a half way done mermaid tail with the same pattern that I had used to make Jacey's last year.

I started it last winter when I was going to put it on the silent auction at our benefit. I made three quilts as well so it didn't get done. I asked her if she liked the colors and she did. Just another half done project finished and a happy girl. Dawn didn't jump in and say she wants one, but I am making a couple more for a benefit coming up at the end of August for a family at church. She said I could make hers sometime this winter since she couldn't understand why anyone would want to snuggle up in a mermaid tail in July.

I have to work on the tail pattern for these next ones. The pattern never turns out and I have to fuss with it a little every time. I am going to have to make my own version I think. Stay tuned, I hope to have them done for a couple smaller mermaids to enjoy!

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Rest of the Story...Oh HAPPY Day!

This story really starts back in October when I got my new red "Mom taxi". The decision about the old blue to "drive it into the ground" came true for us a little sooner than we had expected. Something was knocking and it wasn't sounding good. David gave a valiant effort but it wasn't to be. So, in came the new red van right next to old blue up on blocks.

Valiant effort to revive the beast to no avail
FAST FORWARD nine months (yes, the amount of time it takes to grow a human being) and we have this beautiful and glorious day when the old blue was taken away! All it took was four phone calls til number five gave me an estimate of $190-200 for the steel and they would come haul it away for free. Believe you me...nine months of seeing that beast smack dab in the middle of our garage I was singing hallelujah and asking "how soon can you be here?!"

Tomorrow was her answer, the truck was going home with one of the guys who was picking up another vehicle on his way home, could he swing by on his way to work tomorrow between 7-7:30? Yes! It will definitely work!

 The only thing that made me sad is that not one single child in my house is up these busy summer days before eight so they missed the whole glorious thing!

Not me though, I stood out there and savored it all. Even when we found that the brakes had seized up over time and the van had to be dragged up onto the truck (not a tire turning).

I am happy to tell this great story because once again the garage looks relatively clean and the best part is that we CAN have a garage sale this summer after all!

So you can guess what my next thing on my to do list...get ready for the garage sale! How in the world to we get so much stuff piling up. My least favorite thing to do is go through old clothes and that is what we will be doing the most of.

Saturday I was happy to get the mail and find that there was a check from CC Recycling for more than the quote. Woo hoo! A great ending to a story that has dragged on for way too long. If I had known it would be this easy I would have called in November!

Live and learn!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Date Night...Sloan Style

Friday night the kids were invited to their cousin's for an overnight. I had been sitting here with a $50 gift card to Oyamas for almost two weeks burning a hole in my wallet! The only problem is, two of the triplets were double booked for parties and one was invited to one of the two. So...here is how it went:

5:30 p.m. - Drop Matt and Zach off to Sy and Betsy's
7:00 p.m. - Drop girls off at their 8th grade youth group party
7:15 p.m. - Drop Ryan off at the show choir pool party
7:40 p.m. - Arrive at Oyama's and enjoy YUMMY sushi and great company
8:45 p.m. - Back to the swimming pool to pick up Ryan
8:55 p.m. - Drop Ryan off and Sy and Betsy's
10:00 p.m. - Pick up girls from youth party
10:10 p.m. - Drop girls off at Sy and Betsy's and say good bye for the night
10:20 p.m. - Arrive home to kick our feet up and enjoy a glass of wine!

Yes, it was crazy and we admit it is hard to keep up with sometimes. Everyone is a little tired today (especially the three that stayed up with cousins til 4 in the morning!) I am reminded how fast the time goes by and it is okay.

On a side note, I was able to kinda style my hair tonight for our date and that was a little fun! Still pretty short on top but I got some of it through the straightening iron! I don't know how much you can tell, but here we are!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

She Said "Blog About This..."

...so I will!

Dawn grabbed a ball of yarn from my basket and a couple of knitting needles yesterday and started a scarf. I know, creative! But she was pretty proud to show me that she has done this much already! So, here she is and her knitted almost-to-the-end-of-the-yarn scarf!

She really needs to find a pattern and do something more challenging. She has the knit stitch down! I can't count how many "scarves" she has knit!