Sunday, December 17, 2006

Tired Dog

Yesterday I ran 15.7 miles, breaking my former distance record by 0.7 miles. New route, and I feel fine today thank you very much. Only a little joint soreness. I am thinking a marathon may be within reach for me next year.

The title of this post is in honor of our neighbor's dog. A week ago, when I went for a 10 mile run, Amaya came with me on her bike. About 0.5 miles into the run, this little dog comes out and starts yipping at us. I tried to chase it away, but it kept following. So then we tried ignoring it. But it still kept following. In fact, it ended up following us the whole 10 miles! Poor dog looked pooped by the time we got back. It was all matty from sweat, and sort of running sideways like he (she?) had real sore feet. The next time I ran by his house, though, he just yipped and me and stayed in his yard.

Ice Skating

It's been ages since we last went ice skating. I have a friend at Cooper, Rene, who skates regularly. So yesterday we all went skating. That's (from left to right) Joe, Anna, Rene, Gabrielle (Rene's daughter), Amaya, and Will. We had a blast. Joe got the prize for fastest skater. Elydia got the prize for biggest grin when we took her out on the ice. Grandma Ellene would have been proud of everyone.

Kickin' off Christmas

We love Christmas. We start the season by remembering our blessings at Thanksgiving, and by hanging out with family and friends and eating lots of food. Just after Thanksgiving, we always buy our Christmas tree at Brinkman's Country Corner. The trees are brought down from Michigan by the farmer - Rod Hose. He must be a real people person because he always remembers us. Or it might be the Mexican Hot Chocolate that Linda brought to share. Here are some pix of 1) Joe picking out our tree, 2) Anna stringing lights, and 3) Elydia helping. There are all sorts of Christmas traditions in our community. Pic #4 - That's all of us with Santa at the Benton Ridge fireman's pancake breakfast. This was the first year we went to that. We always take the older ones to go see Handel's Messiah in Bluffton. There's also a wonderful Live Nativity put on by a local congregation. It's a busy, busy month with cookies and cards and shopping. Linda has a book of Christmas strories that we read each night in December. Sometimes all of the activity can be stressful when our many plans and high expectations exceed our capacity. (We are still trying to get our cards out, and to procure the last few gifts!)

This year, after we open our gifts with our kids, we will travel to Akron to visit with our extended family. The WHOLE Mars clan will be in town - an event that seems to happen with less and less frequency. We're going to launch a BIG rocket - 40 lbf of thrust!

The culminating celebration is, of course, Christmas. We exchange gifts on Christmas morning, remembering the Father's gift to humanity in his Son. We wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.