Monday, June 28, 2010

This Years District Convention

Sorry for the delay in my blogs. I have misplaced my camera and and it takes a little more work pulling the pictures from our dropshot site; however, I am going to catch up with what has happened the past month. So I am going to start with the District Convention. You may have already caught the pictures on Beth's Site. You also can see the complete collection of pictures on our dropshots site, look under June 25th for the first day, June 26th for the second day, and June 27th for the 3rd day.

Wasn't such an up building convention? Beth and I were so encouraged by the parts. The parts definitely kept to the title of Remain Close to Jehovah. As with all conventions, this one seemed better than the last; however, the information provided at this one seemed more like a game changer. What I mean, the emphasis was very clear now is not the time to drift, take it easy, get caught up with the anxieties and trials of this system, or be affected and discouraged by the actions of those in the congregation. This was especially emphasized by the drama. We will experience much hardship in this system, and it will only get worse. The key is will we endure (having a positive attitude with a focus on future promises) or will we get overwhelmed by this system and tire out.

I would have to say the kids were awesome!!! Emma took notes for all of the parts (not bad for an eight year old), Sophie stayed awake for all of the parts and got quite a bit out of the talks. Myles didn't do bad himself.

Myles did give us a scare on the first day. The girls were about 8 rows ahead of us visiting the Waage's (we haven't seen them since they moved to Dougherty Hills Congo) and Myles wanted to go down and visit also. I let him go down by himself. Mind you, this was not too smart, Beth kept saying I needed to walk him down or he was going to take a tumble. I kept saying he would be OK....well my wife, as usual, was right. He fell, rolling four stairs down (mind you these are cement) scaring all of the brothers and sisters around us. I felt pretty much like crawling into a cave. Before we could do anything, two brothers from first aid were there checking him out and taking down an accident report. Latter that afternoon, when they make the usual announcement about watching your children, I couldn't help but think they were talking directly to me..
The kids had fun. Since it is at the Cow Palace, there is a lot for them to see during lunch. This is where the Grand National Rodeo occurs, so there is a stock yard as well as stables. The kids got to see a lot of their friends from the neighboring congregations. I can't believe how quickly the kids are growing.

After three days of encouragement and spiritual refreshment, we went to the Tonga Room in the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill for drinks for the kids and an appetizer or two (and that by itself was expensive). The Tonga Room is going to close soon so we thought it would be the last chance to go. If you haven't been there, the restaurant is like going to a Luau. The kids received lei and it rains and thunders. We sat next to a Lagoon inside the hotel!!

All in all, it was a very special weekend!!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Melissa, Shannon, Spencer, and Audrey Visit part 2: THE BIG RACE

So this is the day of the big race. Beth and my sister Melissa would be running the See Jane Run Half Marathon in Alameda. Spencer and Emma would run the 5K. Audrey, Sophie, and Myles ran the kids race.

Beth and Melissa would not be running this alone!! There were over 40 sisters from different congregations running this race. Some for the first time.
Why did everyone run? Why does anyone run? I think everyone has their own reasons. But I think the biggest reason anyone runs a half-marathon, 13.1 miles, is the sense of achievement, the overcoming of ones own set personal limitations , whether it is mentally, or physically, and realizing anything is possible and most of the time we limit ourselves.

So most of all it was a family affair. Emma had really looking forward to running with her cousin. I am very proud of him.

Emma did very well. She ran her 5k (3.1 miles) in 36:06. She was 14th for the 18 and under age group and 469 out of 3100 people who ran the 5K.

Spencer did very well himself. He came in at 42:22 minutes. He came in at 812 out of 3100.
At the finish line we ran into Sabrina from our hall.

The rest of the kids did great too. For the kids race, the kids were separated into two groups: Sophie got to run with Claire and Owen Behrens in the 6 to 9 group. Audrey and Myles ran with Sawyer Behrens (like Myles 3.5 years old) in the 0 to 5 group.

While I ran with Sophie and Claire, Uncle Shannon ran with Myles and Audrey. That is with Myles, since Audrey left her dad in the dirt.

The half marathon was brutal. This is a course that we like to do as a family when it is very hot in Walnut Creek. It is normally 75 degrees with a light breeze. It started out promising at race time, and it did get up to 75 degrees; however, it was very humid. The heat index was well into the upper 80's.

This, combined with very little water in the second half of the course made this race unusually hard.

Beth did very well. She ran the race in 2 hours 3 minutes. Her goal was to do it under 2 hours; however, with all of the challenges, she did very awesome and is very happy with the time. I am so proud of her and very jealous. We rarely run races separately.

But really the showcase, and what I am most proud of is that my sister completed a half marathon. She did so awesome. She handled the challenge like a pro.

It is such an accomplishment, not just the running of the race but actually just signing up for the race and then participating. She did it. And it wasn't easy.
But see that smile. It sums it all up!! 13.1 miles and she is smiling. Not grimacing. No doubt. Just a sense of accomplishment.
That is why someone does this. Not to compete, except with ones own challenges.

She ran 13.1 miles at an awesome 3:28:34 and she was in the middle of the pack. I am so very proud of her.

All in all it was a very fun day.
After the race we went back, took a rest then went swimming in the pool at the motel that they were staying at. They treated us to a Mexican dinner and Ice Cream. It was a very great visit, and I am glad we could share the accomplishment with them.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Melissa, Shannon, Spencer, and Audrey Visit part 1

So this was the weekend of the big race. It is my sister Melissa's first half marathon and she, her husband Shannon and my niece and nephew, Audrey and Spencer, were down.

They made it a great trip, with a drive down the Oregon and California Coast, including a trip to the Redwoods and the Avenue of the Giants.

They got here on Thursday and we had a nice dinner and got caught up.

The kids played and played, swam in the kids pool. The next day Emma and Sophie had school, but after school we all decided to go for a hike. Mind you, the next day was the half-marathon. Melissa and Beth would run the half-marathon. Spencer and Emma would run a 5K. Audrey, Sophie, and Myles would run a 1 mile kids race.

Everyone was up to it though. It was a beautiful day!! Especially when you think that they drove down the coast in rain.
We took them on our favorite hike 10 minutes away in the Diablo Hills Regional Park. Our favorite part of the park is called Castle Rock.

This is where we took our friends, the McClures last fall. It is our kids favorite for all of the different rock structures, caves, and wildlife.

What was different this time, though, is that last autumn we were just finishing the drought, so the creek beds were dry. So we did have to do some rock jumping and tree bridges.

Also, last time we did not see much poison oak. Now maybe it is that I have gotten it twice this year or there is more of it, but it was everywhere. That said, we made it without incident. Even when I found myself standing in the middle of it!!!

I think everyone had a lot of fun. The kids loved the expedition!!! I think it made Shannon a bit nervous; however, once we got to our favorite cave, I think he enjoyed it!!!

He and Spencer took a trail and climbed to the top of the peak in the first picture with Melissa.

Meanwhile the kids climbed around the cave.

It really isn't much of a cave; but the kids sure like climbing it.

The kids really got a long very well and loved playing with their uncle Shannon. After the hike we got back and made tacos and got in bed early.

We would get up at 4 AM so we could get to the race in Alameda to pick up the race packet by 6AM.

But that is the next post.

I think the kids really enjoyed this hike and I am so happy to be able to share this place with the niece and nephew.

By the way, I can't say how proud I am of my sister for running her race and all of the accomplishments she has done reaching this goal!!!