Friday, July 24, 2009

Long-Lost Friend (Runner's Madness)

Dear Rose Rudman Trail,

Sorry it's been so long. We used to spend every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:00 am together, but since the kids have been out of school, my daily routine just hasn't allowed that. However, I'm so grateful for the time we got to spend together this morning. I really enjoyed it.

I'm jealous of your daily view of the sunrise! It was gorgeous today, and I'm glad we got to share that moment!

I noticed that several of your regulars greeted each other as they crossed paths. I used to be one of those, but sort of felt like the outsider today. Nonetheless, they're your friends, so your friends are my friends and so with much effort I said, "Good morning!" with a smile.

On that note, thanks for having so many friends. They made the run go by faster, as I enjoy people watching. Also, with so much traffic, the critters stay away from you. This was very nice, as it's been a long time since I went on a run and didn't see any roadkill or live critters.

Sorry that the guys who made you didn't account for the possible mud that would collect in the low spots, especially under the bridges. It made me want to just wash you down with a power hose so that you'd be nice and clean like when they first made you.

Your trees were especially welcoming this morning. Most arched over you to make a leafy green canopy under which I ran. This shielded me from the sun, which had long since risen.

So, thanks for a great morning. Hopefully I'll come visit more often. Don't forget about me!


Kim, the occasional runner

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Another random assosrtment of things

Our July has been so slow, and I have just relished every moment of it!

Yesterday I ran 9.34 miles. This was the longest I'd ever run in my training for the Tyler 1/2 marathon in October. I kept my pace just barely under a 10 minute mile. It gave me a boost of confidence that I really might be able to run that 1/2! Tomorrow morning I'll do a shorter run and go for a faster pace. I'm really starting to like this running thing. Kreg has hinted at coming down to run the 1/2 with me, and I really hope he can! Mom has hinted at coming down to support me (us), and I really think she should. :)

Benson is blending in beautifully with our family. It's hard to believe that we've only had him for 6 days! He's definitely a puppy still--finding everything he can to chew on--but that is good incentive for the kids to keep their toys picked up!

Johnathan continues to excel at any Wii game he plays. Since he jumps up and down the whole time he plays, it's hard for me to think that he's just "sitting around playing video games." He's played a lot recently.

But I do try to lock the children outside from time to time. Right now they are in the backyard playing in the sprinklers, on the swings and in the baby pool. They keep taking turns coming up to the door, knocking on it and saying, "I'm done!" To which I reply, "You can come in when the sprinklers go off." Mean ol' mommy!

We got Kalleigh some Dora panties to try, since the Pull-Ups did nothing to help. Whoever said girls were easier was totally wrong! (No offense.) It has to be a personality thing. We tried the "big girl panties" out today. By noon, she had gone through 3 pairs. We're putting the whole potty training gig on the shelf for another couple of weeks. I'm not even going to talk about it. She'll be 3 in October.

Tonight we're making chicken fajita pizza, one of my favorites! I'm using 2 red bell peppers that I grew right in my front yard! Of course it's the only fruit or vegetable I've ever grown in my life, so I have to make a really big deal out of it.

Jonas is still working on those teeth and running the obligatory fever that usually accompanies that. That's just another reason I'm glad we've been taking it easy these days.

Right now I'm reading Anne Lamott's Traveling Mercies. I'm just barely into it, but it's already better than her other book I read this summer, Blue Shoe. So depressing! Several people told me that Traveling Mercies would be much better, which is why I gave her another shot. The book "on deck" is Francine Rivers's The Scarlet Thread. It's just hard to go wrong with Francine Rivers!

John and I have been transcribing The Real Group's "It Don't Mean a Thing." It's probably the hardest song I've ever tried to transcribe. John's amazing, though. We're doing it so that Clearly Vocal can sing it. It's one of TRG's songs that you can't get sheet music for, and that's a real bummer! It's such a great song! It's going to be so fun!

The kids are going to spend the night with the Deans tomorrow night. We'll probably go see a movie and maybe hit Breakers, the newest, bestest, yummiest seafood place in town. Can we say fried avacados? Oh yes. We can. I haven't had anything on the menu that I didn't like. Go there. Then we'll come home and keep transcribing! We're such nerds! But we're nerds together, and that's what counts!

This coming Wednesday the kids and I will head to AR for about a week to help Mom redo her bedroom. It's going to be GREAT, and I'll be sure to take before & after pics.

And my baby will be ONE in just a couple of weeks. Bless his heart. I have one page of his first year scrapbook done. There's a third child for you. I WILL get it done ... eventually.

I've promised to help Johnathan make a Mr. Incredible mask, so I'll get to it. Then fix supper.

I really love slow months!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

New Addition

We did it. Two weeks to the day after Belle died we found a new buddy for Bison. Bison has been so happy today! Much closer to normal than he had been!

In keeping with our Harding "B" names, meet Benson!

I found him on Craigslist, of all places! His previous onwner said she needed to find a new home for him because she was having to go back to work and didn't feel it was right to keep a puppy cooped up in a crate all day without a playmate. They also have an older cat who is her husband's baby, and since they had had the puppy, the cat had gone from 12 - 8 pounds and never came out. So the pup had to go. She said in her ad that she really preferred that he go to a home that was familiar with the pug breed. That would be us!

He's a 10-month-old fawn pug, AKC registered with a 4-generation pedigree documented, house-trained, microchipped, current on all vet visits/shots, etc., very clean, great with all three kids, hilarious and absolutely beautiful! Well, for a pug!

And she just GAVE him to me. I couldn't believe it. Her ad said that she wanted a small re-homing fee, but when Bison and I came over to meet the puppy, she said that she could see how happy he would be to have a playmate and that she didn't need anything but the reassurance that he would be well-loved. No problem!

I'm not sure where Kalleigh got this, but she is convinced that we got her her "very own puppy," in her words. I can't count the number of times she has said, "I love Benson, Mommy!" today. The "very own puppy" phrase came when she told John that she was so happy to have her "very own puppy!" And Benson has played along beautifully. He just follows her around and lets her love on him.

We hope Benson is a part of our family for a really long time!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Jonas & Bison

Jonas is cutting four teeth right now which makes for low grade fevers, some nasty diapers with accompanying rashes and one very fussy baby. To remind myself and everyone else how sweet the child CAN be, here are some recent pics of him:

Snuggling with Daddy

Oreo face

How most of the shots I try to take of Jonas turn out.

And poor Bison, without Belle, is just a little off these days.

With the exception of these things, well, and Kalleigh's refusal to potty train, life around the Hodges house is pretty laid-back. I've cooked a lot at home, we've had company, the laundry is mostly under control and we're doing some fun things.

Yesterday was especially fun. The kids and I went over to a friend's house to swim. She just got a new Beautiful pool, and we just really had a good time. Johnathan is trying his very best to swim without floaties, which scares this momma to bits, but he's doing pretty well. He swam the width of the pool for the first time, which was a big deal!

Then last night we had our next-door neighbors over for dinner ... finally. We've lived here for almost 3 1/2 years and we had NEVER had them over! They're such sweet people who would do anything for us. We had a great time visiting as we munched on marinated grilled chicken, carrots, green beans, salad, rolls, peach cobbler and chocolate cake! I even pulled out a tablecloth, cloth napkins and napkin rings. I don't think my children had ever seen the napkin rings before.

We'll enjoy these slow days while we have them. School will be here before we know it!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Princess Day Out

This is one of those things I said I would never do. I did not want to promote entitlement or bratiness of any kind.

And then I had a daughter.

A daughter who loves girly things.

A daughter who one day will be in junior high and struggle with self-esteem.

A daughter who one day will be in high school and choose her own friends.

A daughter who one day will marry someone and will only love him as much as she loves herself (Luke 10:27).

And I decided that she needs as much esteem-building, reassuring, princess-feeling, lovin' and hugin' from her momma that she can get!

So today Mom, Kalleigh and I had a girls' morning out. We shopped at the mall and then saw that they were having princess makeovers! Kalleigh was star-struck as she saw Cinderella, Jasmine and Aurora walk around and taking pictures with the little girls. The makeover included a princess hairdo, tiara, bracelets, a ring, makeup, and a personalized purse! Here are some of the pictures, thanks to Mom having her camera!

Kalleigh and Cinderella -- before

Fixing her hair

A look in the princess mirror.

Princess hairdo.

Putting on her makeup.

The lady kept saying, "Look at her lips! They're such pretty lips!"

Princess Kalleigh!

Cinderella and Kalleigh -- after!

Kalleigh, I pray that you will know that you are God's princess with grace, wisdom and strength as your inner beauty! May your confidence and self-worth come from Him! He adores you!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Goodbye, Sweet Belle

Lady Harding Belle Tower Hodges, 7, died July 3, 2009, at her home in Tyler. Belle was born on June 13, 2002 in Camden, AR, to Buster Lee and Bossie Mae Coke. She was the smallest of five pups.

Sold to John and Kim Hodges in late July of '02, Belle moved to Colorado Springs, CO.

In September of '02, she was registered with the Universal Kennel Club International as a fawn female pug, but her vet discovered additional information. While performing her spay, Dr. Albertson, of Colorado Springs, discovered that she had female parts on the exterior, but male on the interior. Belle had to be both spayed and neutered. We were charged double. It was the first case of a hermaphrodite at that clinic. Ever.

Belle soon learned to sit, shake, roll over and lie down. We learned that she also had skin allergies and hip dysplasia. She was particularly good with the babies and liked to bring toys to them to try to get them to play with her. She never snapped or scratched or played too rough with any of the children, even when Jonas crawled into her food dish to "share" her food.

Belle is survived by her best buddy, Bison, with whom she lived her whole life.