Life with the Shirley Family

Life with the Shirley Family

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Where is the fun?

Well. in case you didn't know, the fun is in Camden's room :)  Not today, though, poor guy.  He is home with the stomach bug and it is not fun.  But once he is over that, come on over to find some fun!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ready for another!!

It has been a day since I finished my second half marathon and I am still walking and even ready to do another!  It was actually more enjoyable than my first.  Maybe because I knew that I could finish and maybe because it was such a beautiful day to run.  Also, the Charleston Marathon committee did a great job with the set-up.  At the beginning, we were able to use real restrooms!  That is always nerve wracking for me; making sure I time my last potty break right so that I don't have to go again.  Yes, such details are important!  And if you were not fortunate enough to have your running partner's parents' car to sit in right beside the starting line, you could even wait inside Burke High School until ready to start. 

To me, there were enough people to make the race exciting, but not too many to make it miserable.  And this year the weather was perfect.  Not too cold and not too hot.  We began at Burke HS; made our way to the battery; ran down King Street; turned off somewhere onto Meeting St; ran through the old Navy base; through Riverfront Park; and finished near North Charleston HS.  All in all, there was a lot of awesome scenery and a few seedy areas to look at!  And lots of groups singing or playing drums, violins, etc.  A little party along the streets.  Plus one small hill!  Who knew there would be a hill in the route...good thing we have been training on the bridge!

Kelly and I started out at a slower than usual pace, but by the 3rd or 4th mile, we were at a 10 minute mile average pace.  We stayed together until about mile 7.  I slowed a little, then she sped up.  I tried to keep her in my sites, but that didn't last for long.  I was still on a 10 minute mile pace until around mile 10.  Going into Riverfront Park and mile 11, I was feeling good and had decided to try to speed up a little and get back to the 10 min/mile average.  I was doing good and passed the 11 mile sign when my left knee rebelled!  My right knee is usually the one that bothers me, so I wasn't happy about the other one hurting.  And of course my right one wasn't feeling the best either.  I kind of thought I might have to stop and walk; but instead I stopped, stretched, and kept on going.  Just not at the faster pace.  I had been thinking I was going to finish 4 minutes faster than my first half 4 years ago, but in the end, I only shaved 2 minutes off.  Two hours and 16 minutes and 31 seconds!  Actually I had only thought it was a minute when I finished (I forgot to stop my timer right away!), but my registered time showed 2 minutes.  I was sort of excited when I found that out.  I guess having a faster running partner helped me in the end!

That day Dave prescribed four Advil, along with my caramel pie, and my knees felt better.  Today, on Sunday, I only took two, and it was for my right knee only.  I thought that was progress!  So other than my bum knees, I am ready to do it again!  I just hope I get another PERFECT day for a run!

Oh, and I havn't received the pictures yet that Kelly's mom was taking.  I will have to post those in the future!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Nathan's testimony

My sister gave me this plaque for Christmas and it is so appropriate this year because all of our children have accepted Christ as their Savior.  I know there is still a lot of discipleship and teaching ahead of us, but the most important step is complete.
Nathan referenced this in his Upward testimony last week, on January 12.  I was unable to hear it because of coaching duties, but was very happy to have found where he had written it out.  Here is what he said:
"When I was 5 years old, I accepted Jesus as my Savior on January12, 2006.  It is in my top two favorite days of my life.  My parents explained confession, repentance and a lot of other things to use in the future and right then.  But on December 11, 2012, was the best day of my life.  I got to lead my little brother, Camden, to Christ.  I was surprised he asked me and not Mom or Dad.  I didn't know he looked up to me that much.  I encourage all big brothers and sisters to be the best role models they can be.  It can define a little siblings eternal destination."

Monday, January 14, 2013

13.1 for Tobi

This year I sold my van and with it went my 13.1 sticker.  Because of this, I decided I needed to run another half marathon to earn another sticker.  I have been training with a youth from my church and trying to keep up with a girl 20+ years younger than me has been a challenge!  We are scheduled to do our half this Saturday, and last week we decided to help with another challenge. 

There is a couple in our church who are adopting two children with Down's Syndrome from the Ukraine.  We are inviting anyone who would like to sponsor us to do so to help raise money to cover their expenses.  I think any child is important and needs a good home, but it is especially important to help children from other countries who have a disability.  In America they will be able to receive the education and therapy they need to reach their potential.  And with a good family, they will go far.

Nathan asked me one time (not in relation to this adoption) what Down's Syndrome was.  My first answer to him was that they are the most loving and sweet people you could ever meet.  Yes, there are other descriptions of what is involved with Down's, but above all, they are just awesome people!!  I can't wait to know two more!

I am putting a link to the Quiambo's blog dedicated to their adoption story.  If you feel led, I encourage you to read and possibly help them with adoption expenses by sponsoring us in our half.  We will each run 13.1 miles...and yes, we will both make it the whole way!  We have to!

The 2nd, no 4th Christmas!!

Well, we arrived in Memphis to be greeted with snow!!  It was very pretty, although I think I should have planned better with what I packed.  Charleston weather is making me think everyone has 70's in the winter!  After spending time playing in the snow...

and taking everyone out of the house so that Jenn could get some rest, we had present time number 4!

The quilt I made for Jennifer...don't get germs on it!!

Nathan and Camden found these jackets for Josiah and Declan

Rob got a book and a KISS ornament!!  He got to put it on the tree because Jenn felt too bad to stop him!

I needed a new wind chime!

All the kids got movies from Grammie and Grandaddy!

After Jenn started feeling better, we hoped we were on the mend.  These people had been dealing with the bug since the beginning of Dec!!  But I think all nights except one, someone was sick.  That meant we stayed home a lot!!  And it seemed that right when one would start to feel better, another would get it.  At first it was just Declan and Josiah.  We even quarantined their rooms and Camden slept with me.  Then we let him in Josiah's room because we thought he was all better.  Well, that was not the best idea!  Yes, he got it and since he then was back with me, I got it.  The best thing I can say about this bug was that Nathan did not get it!!  He had a bowl game to go to and could not get sick.  He could only play with Ashton!  And even though we didn't do much, it seems like we still got a lot of pictures!

Letting the kids get out in the cold trying to kill more germs!!

And we did do one outing (other than shopping that is); we went to the Planetarium to see a starry show about the Star to Bethlehem.  It was really good and everyone enjoyed it.  We even went to get Jerry's snowcones after to celebrate. 

Watching the stars!

Grammie and her babies!

This year everyone got stompies and Star War Angry Birds.  Nathan named his Darth Bacon, and Camden named his Macaroni!

The two turkey watchers!

We ended our time together with another turkey dinner.  I got out of any kitchen duty because that was the day I was one wanted me in the kitchen!  But at least I felt better by dinner time and could eat some of that delicious turkey!!!

The next day, New Year's Eve, we got up bright and early to head to Atlanta to meet Dave for the Chick-fil-a bowl!!  What a way to bring in the New Year!!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Christmas Day Part 2

Well, I am a little out of order on my Christmas now I am back to Christmas Day.  It was a different kind of Christmas.  No sitting around looking at your presents and the paper mess.  No, we hit the road.  We headed to my parents right after breakfast and did another round of presents with them.  Then we got to eat an awesome Christmas lunch compliments of my parents.  I just had to bring cookies and fudge :)

Camden really wanted a Cuddlecuddleupit!

                                                           Nathan got a bow case!

Nathan had to play with Camden's present!

After relaxing a very little, we then hit the road again to get a head start on our trip to Memphis.  I never knew that so many other people drove on Christmas day!  But the hotel was empty and comfortable.  Although it became more and more cold as we made our way to TN!
The next morning we were set to get up early and surprise Jennifer (although she may have read my blog and figured out we were coming), but then her husband called and said we might want to turn around as Jenn was now sick with the stomach bug.  (Their family had been swapping it b ack and forth since the 10th!)  But we persevered and drove on to the house of germs; just taking more time than we had planned in hopes that she would recover by the time we arrived!  This was not to be the case,  but more on that later....


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Christmas moments to remember

Looking back on Christmas of 2012, the moments that I will remember involve giving of myself and spending time with family. 

I work with the 3 and 4 year old Cubbies at our church and my most favorite night is when we go Christmas caroling.  This year we went to three houses, two of whom were a surprise!  I always tell the children and their parents that they are such a blessing to the people we visit.  One person that we were unable to visit this year confirmed that yet again.  He is from the first year we started this and his late wife was one of the reasons we did so.  She passed away before last Christmas, and last year he was very grateful that we remembered him.  Well I was not going to forget him this year either, but the timing messed up.  He had a grandson graduating from Clemson the day after our caroling night, so he wouldn't be home.  What really made me sad in missing him is that he said he had the fireplace all decorated for us coming...he just needed us to come the week before our scheduled night :( 

So that is one night of giving; not just me giving, but lots of little people and their parents giving of themselves also.

Our first night of family get togethers was Sunday night with Dave's brother's family.  Even though we essentially live in the same place, with our busy lives, we never seem to find time to get together.  So it is nice when we are able to see them.  The kids had a great time playing together and the best part of the night for me was that they brought dinner!!!  Served on throw away plates!!

Fun hanging with the cousins!

The last moment that I am remembering tonight is Christmas Eve.  This year it was just the four of us.  We went to our church's candlelight service and then headed to Outback for a good dinner before going home to finish our Christmas Eve activities.  PJ's were waiting for the boys and of course we had to read "The Night before Christmas."  Advent activities and then off to bed; after leaving milk and cookies out!  Camden went to sleep pretty quickly, but Nathan couldn't fall asleep and needless to say, Dave and I had to stay up waiting on him to do so.  But the moment of the night that caused me to smile the most and the one that I will remember, was that awkward moment during the candlelight service when the man in charge of lighting the first candle, from the candles on the altar, realized that the church used LED candles this year instead of real ones!  Good thing someone on the front row had a lighter :)

Finally, time for blogging!

It is January 8, well maybe 9th by the time this is finished, and I am finally feeling caught up with all things Christmas that must be done and put away (except for thank you cards!).  I even played with my Christmas gift tonight!  And almost have the car unloaded from our trip to Memphis! 

So now I am going to think back on what we did over Christmas break.  This will not all be tonight, so if you are really interested, tune in for future posts :)

We took a mini vacation this year during our break.  On Thursday, the 20th, we drove to Myrtle Beach to spend two days.  This was after closing on our refinanced house.  We are happy to say that in 15 years, our house will be paid for!  That is a strange thought. 

But back to MB.  After making our mandatory stop in Pawleys' Island, we headed to the hotel and the indoor waterpark!  We also tried to find a Putt-putt, but most were closed.  The only one open was at Broadway on the Beach, and by the time we got there, it was raining!  So we only did dinner and the waterpark that night.  Oh, what am I saying!  We also went to the Bass Pro Shop...the real reason for the trip to begin with.  Nathan had a gift card from his birthday and Dave wanted to buy a deer stand.  We were able to get Camden a toy bow for Christmas, but nothing there for me :(

Hanging with the dinosaurs at Broadway at the Beach

Hanging out at the in the water in December! 

The next day was supposed to be the day to finally find a putt-putt; do a little shopping; and end the evening with the Christmas Pirate show.  Well, all went as planned, except for Putt-putt.  It was just too windy and cold.  One or the other would have been fine, but not them together.  So after a filling breakfast at the hotel, we headed to an indoor activity called Wonderworks.  Or the upside-down house as Camden called it!  It is basically a fun house, with science mixed in.  The things that really were remembered were the 360 bicycle (if you pedal hard enough, you go upside down!), laying on the bed of nails, and the indoor ropes course.  Even Camden got to go on the ropes course.  For someone afraid of heights, it was challenging, but turned out to be fun! 


Laying on the bed of nails!!

Astronaut Camden!

And since we were at Broadway at the beach, we had to look at some more stores.  I got to do my shopping when I went to the Toms store and bought me a pair!  The hype is true and they are very comfortable!
Always thinking about duck hunting!!

After that fun, we had a great dinner at the Pirate's Christmas Voyage Show.  Lots of of diving and acrobats!  And good food!  Very enjoyable for all of us.

And just when you think we should go home, one more stop at the Bass Pro Shop!  At least the Santa picture they gave us was free :)