Monday, March 31, 2008

The Princess Turns Four

I don't quite know how it happened, but my little Amelia isn't so little anymore.  I can't believe she is four!  She has been talking about her birthday for months (as all little kids do) and has been very specific about having a princess birthday with a princess cake and exactly which princesses should be on it.  Plus, she wanted 2 purple balloons, 2 pink balloons and 1 princess balloon.  Of course, I obliged.  She was very excited to have her Grandmas and Grandpas and Aunts, Uncles and Cousins come and share in the festivities.
I really can't believe how quickly she is growing up.  Considering that I've been changing diapers daily for the past 91/2 years, sometimes I get caught up in the slowness of the days and don't realize how quickly time is flying by.  I am trying to enjoy these days as much as I can with these sweet little girls, because Jonas is already so big, I feel like I missed out on a lot of the enjoyment aspect with him since I was so busy learning how to be a mom.  (This does not mean that I have yet learned how to be a good mom - somewhere along the way, I figured out I would always be learning.  We'll see if I ever achieve.)
Anyway, Happy Birthday Amelia!

The Rest of Easter Weekend

As per our request to the Easter Bunny, he came and filled the Easter baskets and hid the eggs on Saturday morning.  The kids enjoyed hunting for their baskets and eggs and spent the morning playing with the fun things they got.  We spent the afternoon at the dinosaur tracks and then went swimming at the pool with the rest of the city.  We also made a stop in the ghost town of Grafton on our way back from Zion on Friday.   Our kids were remarkably good despite the lack of sleep and constant busyness of the weekend.  We were all very sad to have to return home.  We were really enjoying the sunshine and warm weather, but all good things must come to an end I suppose.

Easter Weekend

For spring break, we took a little trip to St. George.  We spent a day hiking at Zion.  I couldn't believe how pleasant and happy the kids were.  I kept asking Shawn,  "What's going on here?  Who's kids are these?"  Most of our outings result in a great deal of whining and crying by at least one, if not all of the kids at one time or another.  They all did a great job hiking and seemed to have fun.  We hiked the Emerald Pools, and it was beautiful. It gave us hope that we may actually be able to do this a little more regularly - and enjoy it.  (At some point in our hiking past, it was determined that one of our children - I won't mention names here - would never be invited to hike again.  I think we may have overcome that particular obstacle.  Hooray for the Stringham children!  (This doesn't mean that we are yet ready for general public appearances.  This whole weekend may have just been a fluke.  Only time will tell.)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My Accomplishment

I realize there are many of you out there who are real runners and therefore would find my accomplishment something to laugh at, but for those of us who plod along at a 10 minute per mile pace (maybe 9:30 on a good day), going faster is something to be proud of.  Last night Shawn dragged me on a little 3 mile run that I managed to finish in 24 minutes and 52 seconds!  If my calculations are correct then I ran at just under an 8:20 pace!  That's huge for me.  Granted I could barely breathe, and had to stop to walk in the middle just to catch my breath so I could stay upright, but still, quite an accomplishment for me.  It gives me hope that I may still be able to improve.  Maybe by the time I'm 80, I can win an age group title.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Leprechauns Strike Again

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

As with past years, we awoke this morning to the fun of a visit from some friendly leprechauns during the night. Fortunately, they weren't too destructive.  They left green shamrocks and stars spread around  the bedrooms and hanging from the ceilings, and hid chocolate coins all around the house. (I was kind of hoping for some real gold, as I have quite a list of projects that need some funding, but oh well.)
The kids spent the morning searching for the coins while munching on shamrock sugar cookies.

(Cookies for breakfast is not a common occurence here -  and I feel a little bad about sending them off to school on a sugar high, but what's the point of a holiday if it isn't different from the rest of the days?) The leprechauns even left a box of Lucky Charms on the front porch! (because we all know St. Patrick's Day isn't complete without some lucky charms - after all, they're magically delicious!)
So, now I need to go and clean up the mess and all of the St. Patrick's Day decorations and get ready for Easter, so that the Easter Bunny will still remember to stop by in a few days. (As if we 
haven't had enough sugar already!)

An Irish Blessing (courtesy of my Aunt Ginny)

May you be blessed always with
A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering angel so nothing will harm you.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Am I crazy?

So, it's been almost a week since I completed the Moab half marathon, (which in itself is somewhat miraculous since after running the Salt Lake half marathon last year I swore it would be my last!) and I haven't run since, but I'm feeling guilty now for being a slacker.  My friend Becky (who also ran the Moab half) called me on about Tuesday to say she was going to run the Salt Lake half marathon and asked if I wanted to do it too.  I must be somewhat of a masochist because I'm actually considering it.  But I'm not committed yet, I keep remembering how at mile 8 I started thinking "Man, this is getting really old - I'm kind of tired of running."  Then, somewhere between mile 10 and 11 I started thinking that I was going to puke and really wishing that it were a 12 mile race instead.  In my head I was saying, "OK just finish this race - without puking please, and you never have to do another half marathon in your life."  I just keep thinking how nice it would be to just run a 5K or 10K.  But I did improve my time by about 4 minutes, so there is a part of me that would like to see how I do this year on the same course as last year - to see if I really have improved.  But since Becky called me, I keep having nightmares about the race.  In one, I am at the start line and realize I forgot my power gels and there is no time to get any and I know I can't finish without them.  In another, the race starts without me.  I can't quite figure out why I'm not at the starting line, but since my biggest fear in racing is that I will come in dead last, (speed is not my strength) this is truly a nightmare for me.  I guess this all just really boils down to the question, should I or should I not run 8 miles tomorrow?  I'll have to let you know what I decide.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Harp Recital or the Stringham Family's Final Public Appearance

Salt Lake City, Ut (AP) Due to the unruly, disruptive and somewhat obnoxious behavior exhibited by the Stringham children at a recent harp recital, the Stringham Family announced that Sunday night's harp concert would be their final public appearance.  The news was received by fellow concert-goers with cheers and resounding cries of  "Thank goodness!"  and "It's about time!". 

Despite the fact that Samantha performed on the harp beautifully (as can be seen by watching the above video)and exhibited decent behavior through the end of the concert,  her public persona crumbled at the end of the reception following the concert.  Her youngest sister had to be forcefully removed from the concert immediately after Samantha's performance due to her loud and disruptive behavior, and was locked out of the building until the end of the recital.  Her other younger sister was constantly on the move throughout the performances and began wailing loudly at the end when she was not allowed to play a piece on the harp as well.  Samantha's older brother began the concert with several loud sighs and moans, but after several reprimands and severe looks from his parents, did mange to end the night with relatively decent behavior, but this was not enough to leave the Stringhams feeling as if they could venture into the public eye again.  Upon leaving the recital, several of those attending were embarrassed by the screaming and crying they heard as three of the four children were physically carried off and loaded into the car.  When asked how he thought the evening went, their father was reported as saying, "*#!*?#*!".

It has been determined that except for possible rare appearances at family functions where the children's behavior may be overlooked by loving relatives or at least be less noticeable due to the obnoxious and/or rowdy behavior exhibited by uncles and cousins, the Stringhams will only be allowed in public in ones or twos so their behavior will not draw as much undesirable attention.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

February Fun

Clearly, February is over, but since I still haven't completed my third child's "first year book" or even started my fourth child's "first year book" (and they are both well past their first years), then posting some pictures from February activities hardly seems to be behind the times.
We enjoyed President's Day weekend in St. George with Grandpa Ralph and Grandma Judy, Jake, and Rob and Michelle and their kids.  It was so nice to be able to spend some time outside and enjoy the sunshine, and the kids definitely liked spending time with their cousins.
Amelia had also been begging to go to the zoo, so one cold and rainy Friday, I took Megan and Amelia to see the animals.  There weren't any crowds, and the cats were all very active, but many of the animals were inside where we couldn't see them.  Amelia was a little disappointed that we missed the elephants and rhinos and that the train was not running,  but Megan, who is afraid of many of the animals didn't really notice the difference.