Saturday, September 30, 2006

Akron Marathon

Quite simply, this race experience was phenomenal. Waking this morning, I was a bit nervous about running the 5th leg (7 1/2 miles). The hardest part about the race, though, was simply waiting around until it was my turn to take the snap bracelet and begin my portion of the run. It was pretty cold this morning with a light drizzle, but once I started the run, the weather didn't bother me at all- it actually was perfect.

Our team (Emily, Maureen, Dave, Tony, and I) finished at 4 hours, 13 minutes, 54 seconds. That put us at #466 out of 663 relay teams. Not too bad, in my humble opinion. We finished a couple of minutes behind our beloved pastor and his team, but we'll get him next year for sure!

My race leg began up on Revere Road by Fairlawn Country Club and then proceeded to Firestone High School, Stan Hewett, Highland Square, and then down Market Street to Canal Park. For me, it was a real emotional high running through the ball park and past what looked to be a couple of thousand fans cheering us all on. It was awesome!

I really felt as if I could have run a few more miles, so I'm going to train this winter for the Cleveland Marathon in May and aim for running 1/2 a marathon- all 13 1/2 miles of it. Tonight, though- no thought of running- I've got a date with the TV and my beloved Buckeyes!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Through the Years

I remember all so well the day I took Marie to get her picture taken here when she was about a year old. Eleven short years later...well, it's so hard to believe how quickly your kids grow up right before your eyes. I still think she'd look cute in a white bonnet!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Big Sis, Lil' Sis

Friday, September 22, 2006

22nd Annual Labor of Love Run Results

Well...I could have done a lot better. Out of 348 runners, I came in at #252. (46:20/ 9:15 per mile). For my age group though, I was 22nd out of 28...but, I still had a blast running the course, and am definitely looking forward to next year's event.

I've got one week until the Akron Roadrunner Relay Race. Funny, but I still have never run more than 5 miles and I'm suppose to do a 7 1/2 mile leg. I guess I'll just run the last couple of miles on adrenaline and a good prayer! The good news is that my part of the race appears to be just a gradual descent down Market Street heading towards the downtown area. I've joked to a couple of folks that I'll just wear a pair of those tennis shoes that have the built-in skates inside of them, so then if I get too tired...well you get the idea.

Actually, next weekend should be awesome because in addition to the race, Ms. Sarah Kay will have her baby dedication at church. We're going to have the ceremony after the second service, and then a short reception immediately following in the atrium of the church. Plenty of pictures will be taken!

Monday, September 18, 2006

An afternoon siesta

And who said Pre-K was easy?

This has become somewhat of a common occurrence each afternoon as we arrive home from a long day at school.

I was in the kitchen getting some stuff ready for dinner, and within minutes Josh crashed on the sofa- just minutes before he asked me if I wanted to see what he made at school today. His proud art project never even made it out of his bookbag before the little guy fell fast asleep.

Rising each morning at 6:00 and going strong until 3:30 has been somewhat of an adjustment for Josh. His teacher does designate about an hour for "nap-time", but I don't think most of the kids sleep soundly during that time.- afraid they might miss something!

I'll let him catch a few more winks before I wake him for dinner.

Friday, September 15, 2006

MUM DAY: a Hoban tradition

Imagine arriving at a high school with over 900 kids and strolling through the halls early that morning and listening to the Sounds of Silence- no not the Simon and Garfunkle tune, but the total absence of adolescent conversation throughout the entire school. I believe this tradition dates back to well over 20 years now, and it is an admirable effort to get the kids psyched about our arch-rival St. Vincent- St. Mary in our annual football game with them; this is one of many events that we partake in during the week leading up to the big game.

Each day this past week had a special theme: Monday's Patriotic Day, Tuesday's Pirates of Hoban Day, Whacky Wednesday (mismatch clothing), and my personal favorite- Thursday's Hoban through the decades. We had kids outfit themselves from everything to greasers, gals in poodle skirts, disco style bell bottom pants, and leggings, swatches, and "boom boxes" of the 80's! (Wouldn't that generation have loved the I-Pod craze of today!) Then, on Friday, all the kids sport their MUM Day shirts to school and practice the fine art of remaining silent ALL DAY LONG! For many of them, this is quite a task. The seniors actually sleep at the school Thursday night decorating all the halls and gym for the big pep rally Friday afternoon. I've chaperoned this event in the past, but the idea of staying up all night long with a bunch of 17 year olds has somewhat lost its appeal to me the older I get.

Go Knights!

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Flight That Fought Back

It's been five years since the attacks, and watching this show this evening brought back all the horror that rocked our country back in 2001. You want to talk about absolute heroism...these men and women on this plane put all personal agendas aside that day and sacrificed their lives to save others...the ultimate outward sign of love for mankind...

I'll never forget that morning. I was in class with my kids when our principal came on the P.A. telling us of the first World Trade Center bombing. With all the classrooms equipped with TVs, most of the teachers turned the sets on only to witness the 2nd plane come crashing into the other tower. At that point, one of the young ladies in my classroom became hysterical because her father was suppose to be in New York that morning on business. Bringing even more anxiety and fear to to all of us, within an hour, our school secretary received an anonymous phone call that a bomb had been planted in our school. Within minutes, the entire student body and faculty were out of the building at one of the ball-fields, awaiting instructions from police. The sight of bomb squad vans and police dogs on the roof was just an incredibly sobering experience- not to mention the pandemonium that developed outside as we all tried to account for our kids.

Shortly thereafter, the police asked for all faculty members to reenter the building and scope out our classrooms and hallways...looking for anything suspicious. Honestly, at first we all thought that they were joking, but as they explained- we knew the school and its belongings better than they, and they wanted us in there to assist them. So off we went...As it turned out, the whole episode was simply a hoax, but nevertheless, a frightening experience. Everyone that day just wanted to race home and be with their families, but we needed to stay with the kids, and we truly felt that it was in everyone's best interest/ safety to remain at school and allow for things to settle down a bit.

Coming home that afternoon, I remember being glued to the TV watching the episode unfold over and over again...thinking to myself, "what could possibly drive someone to such hatred and utter vindictiveness to kill so many innocent people that day?" I would like to think that something like this will never happen again in my lifetime, but I think we all know better. My prayer, though, is that my kids (Marie, Josh, and Sarah) will be able to read about this in their history books one day and truly reflect and feel absolute gratitude for the day that our country fought back...Let us not ever forget.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Hang On Sloopy, Sloopy, Hang On...

Hours before the kickoff of what has already been touted as the game of the year, Josh and I were in the backyard running plays that Jim Tressel and the boys probably would be envious of...

So I sent Cindy to the store with one simple request- get a little OSU outfit for Ms. Sarah. Back she comes with a PINK OSU dress. Where's the scarlet and gray? Oh, well- she's still adorable!

My prediction for tonight's game...OSU 28/ Texas 24.

I can't wait!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ready or Not...Here I Come!

Well, the little guy began his grade school "career" this morning- bright and early with a 6:00 A.M. wakeup call. Looking out the window at the time, Josh looked up at me and said..."I sure hope my school has lights!"- it was still pretty dark outside!

Josh has really been looking forward to this day- evidenced by the fact that for the past month, he's been asking us daily when his first day of school will be. If only I shared the same enthusiasm as I started back a couple of weeks ago!

You gotta love the Catholic school's dress code- white polo shirt and navy blue slacks. I personally love it. No decisions to make in the morning...and, if I may brag a bit, he looks pretty handsome- even with his slacks being a tad too long. (His legs havn't quite caught up with his waist yet!) However, one of the highlights for Josh, in terms of school shopping, was the purchase of his cool backpack. Now take notice that this is a Spiderman backpack...yet it came equipped with a cell phone holder and an I-Pod sleeve! Needless to say, these two items were not a priority for Cindy and I to buy in preparation for his first day of Pre-K.

After picking Josh up this afternoon, the highlights of his first day appeared to be storytime, potty-breaks, lunch, and recess- not necessarily in that order, I might add. He said he gets to sit next to two little girls in the classroom, but that's "OK" with him...I've trained him well! seems like just yesterday that he was learning how to walk, talk, and ride a bike. Now, he's a St. Matthew's Royal who told the barber the other day to cut his hair in such a way to make sure that he looks handsome for his first day of school. I think Cindy and I are in store for an eventful ride with our son.

I love ya Josh!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Run with endurance the race set before you Hebrews 12: 1

This was fun. The Chapel's Labor of Love Run was the first of two races that I signed up for this fall. Having taken a 10 year sabbatical from running/ races, I started running again back in May and have really been looking forward to this day. All in all, I'm pretty happy with my race. I clocked in around 46:20/ 5 mile run. My goal was an 8 minute mile, but it just didn't happen. I started out pretty well and came around the 1/2 way turn at about 21:00, but I really got tired during the 2nd loop. The downtown Akron area is fairly hilly, and this course had more than its share of uphill terrain.

For one brief moment in time, I really felt good about my time because I finished alongside a buddy of mine (an avid runner) whom I play with in the Chapel Praise Band...however, I was quickly humbled because alongside of him was his daughter and what looked to be a 25 or 30 pound heavy duty racer stroller- both of which/ whom he had pushed for the entire 5 miles! Unbelievable! Let's just say that he's a tad bit better of an athlete than I am...or probably will ever become! Great race, Daniel!

The real story of the day centered around a young lady who has battled cerebral palsy her entire life. She was determined though to finish this race- walker in hand. You want to talk about inspiration! God bless her.

Next up...the Akron Relay Marathon with Maureen, Emily, Dave, and our fearless leader...Kenton. Gotta go to the couch. My legs are killin' me, and a nap sounds great right now.