Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Running Update

I am almost a year into my goal to become a "real" runner.

I first used the Nike+GPS on March 7th 2011.

On March 21st 2011
-I (mostly) walked a half marathon 
in honor of my friend Michael Ansley, fighting leukemia.

He did the Shamrock half-marathon last year and it inspired me.

My time was 3 hours 7 minutes (a 14 minute mile average)
His time, (with leukemia) was better than mine.
He's my hero!

Since last March - 
I have logged 563 miles in 142 runs.
I have run 110 hours with an average pace of 11:39 per mile.
(*at least I'm getting faster!)

I don't know how many miles my friend Mike has logged in the last year.
But he is in remission from leukemia and will be doing the Shamrock half marathon again.
He is raising money to help others fight leukemia.

He has been challenged to raise $5000 in the next couple weeks before the run.
Please consider helping him exceed this goal and help others like him fight this disease.

I am so proud to know the Ansley family!

GO TEAM MIKE!
YOU GOT THIS!

Here is the link to his fund raising page.  


Monday, February 27, 2012

Foster Care Update

An update on foster care:

Our sweet Meleah is 7 months old today -
She left exactly four weeks ago and I have cried every day.
We all miss her so much.

I did hear from the social worker and will share this quote with you:


"she is the star of her daycare and ..... 
her caregivers there can't seem to put her down"


I am so thankful that she is being loved and cared for 
and that her sweet smile is obviously contagious to all around her.
Thank you for praying for her adjustment to her new life.

The two other girls have been with us for a little over 2 months now.
(they came two days before Christmas, if you missed it)

They are 6 and almost 8; 
Biological siblings of our first foster boy: 
and in school with our boys on base

They pretty much have Mike wrapped around their fingers with
lots of hugs and daddy flips - 

You know the ones - 
doesn't every kid do that thing with their dad?
where he holds your hands and you straddle his waist and flip?

I remember those until 
I was too tall for my head not to hit the floor when I flipped.
(*no smart remarks about my height, or lack-thereof)


Although we thought originally that they would be with us until summer,
their parents have received a new house through a government assistance
program and will be moving soon.  This is a positive step for this family and
a chance to get on their feet.   We hope that everything goes well and that
the judge will acknowledge their efforts.  

In the waiting time - the girls are in need of extreme dental care.
Foster Children are on Medicaid - so we have appointments for them this week
on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Public Health Dental Clinic.
Both girls will undergo general anesthesia for the procedures that they need.

Please pray that everything goes smoothly and that they do well with the anesthesia.
As a mom - I am trying hard not to worry - they have no idea what to expect.
And maybe - doing it all at once is better in the long run.
I know that (at the very least)
they will be super sore for several days.  

Soup 
Jello
Smoothies 
Popsicles 
all on the grocery list for this week....

Thanks to everyone for your continued love and support of this journey!






Saturday, February 25, 2012

Learnabration!

LearnABRATION is a program of learning 
as well as a celebration of Black History Month 
at the school that is sponsored by the Guam Greek Council. 

Last year, Mike and I were asked by Zion's teacher, Mrs. Kim Simpson to present.

We enjoyed being a part of something so special.

I learned a lot of information that I didn't know working on my presentation as 
well as taking a peek into other classrooms to see what was going on.

This year - I was able to take photos and cruise around to see what else was going on.

The kids had a great time interacting with the presenters and they learned too! 

Zion




SmartBoard game about Jackie Robinson

Inventors 


Literature








Students try to guess where Rosa Parks sat on the bus


Music



video
Click here for press release 


Thanks to everyone who worked hard to make this event a success!  



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The HELP

We have a rule at the Thornton house -

You have to read the book before you see the movie.

Someone invited me to go see, "The Help"
and Isaac busted me out -
"Did you read the book mom?"

So -
I went to the library -
and I finished the book on Monday.
(and I did not go see the movie - live by example!)


The book provokes many emotions for me,
as I hope it does for anyone that reads it.

I found myself crying
more than once
that someone could be so hateful,
based only on skin color.

I found myself
thankful that my boys don't face that type of discrimination.

I found myself admitting,
that, sadly, 
it's not over.

Did you know?
Children are enslaved to produce the chocolate that you eat.

A U.S. government-backed report estimated 
that more than 1.8 million children 
in West Africa are involved in growing cocoa
(*more links below) 


I am asking you,
as the Lent season starts,
to give up chocolate
and pass along this blog post.

Make a decision to CHANGE the way these children are treated.
Don't tell me you love chocolate too much -
I'll feed you some Minny Jackson chocolate pie!
(if you didn't read The Help - you won't get that)

WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
with how we spend our "American" dollars.

I urge you to have a chocolate FREE Easter.
Or - search out companies that produce FAIR TRADE chocolate.



It's not just chocolate,
by the way -
that's where I am asking you to start -

For a total transformation of
how to spend your dollars better....
I recommend this book.

The Better World Shopping Guide

For an OVERLOAD of blog posts on shopping better - Click here.
(pace yourself here)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Swim meet

Part of getting back into a routine for our family is being back at the pool.

I love our Swim Team family at Tsunami Swim Club.

I also can't ignore the fact that the coaching is the best on the island.

Even though the boys have only been back in the water for a couple of practices,
they had improved times at the meet.

Zion - in the 50 back - went from a time of 1:01.82 to 54.95!!

His first B time!~

Zion also swam in the 50 breast, the 50 free and the 200 free relay.



50 breast


Relay


Michael took a second off his 50 back with a time of 37:89

Also a B time!

Michael also shaved a little off his 50 free with a time of 30:67

(*almost an A time - so close!  needs to be 30:59)

He also swam in the 100 free, and the 200 free relay.









I am proud of the boys for their hard work and dedication at the pool.

The other three children (*Isaac and the two foster girls) are also in the pool on Tuesday for swim team, and we will be adding Thursday to the mix in March when basketball season is over.


It really makes it such a lovely sport when everyone -
regardless of age or gender, practices at the same time.
I highly recommend it for larger families!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

recap of Valentine's Day




Valentine's Day 
Tuesday
a school day
swim team practice

So in order to make the day special for the kids...
Mike and I decided to make a special breakfast

We got up and set the table with the china.
Mike made heart shaped pancakes
with strawberries and whip cream on top

It was a good morning!

CHEERS!












Friday, February 17, 2012

Funny stuff....

In an effort to get the blog going again,

I am reposting some funny stuff from

"People I Want to Punch in the Throat"  blog....
(*warning-for adult readers only)

If your Valentine's Day was a little less than expected,
for whatever reason.

Hubby is deployed (again)
You aren't married
You are married, but things aren't going so great
WHATEVER...

This will give you a chuckle and even possibly leave you thinking,
"my life is good"

Here is the first post by the Husband of the blog writer...

10 Reasons to GET WITH ME!

Here is the response by the wife:

Valentine's Day response

I am trying to get back into a routine and will be working on some
blog posts soon ---

Stay tuned for updates on:

McCool Seahawks Basketball,
Tsunami Swim Club - Swim meets and such
Thornton family Valentine's Day
and some Boonie Stompin'

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Processing = progress??

If you are a regular reader of "OOG"
Then you know when the blog gets quite...
I am usually processing.

I'm not good at open honesty -
I grew up with the idea that hurt and sorrow
in the form of tears = weakness

So I turn that hurt and sorrow into anger
and that means I'm tough and strong

It's not exactly a Biblical idea
and the end result is an attitude problem that
pushes away the people that care about me

But to make a long story short -
we are all processing and I think that means progress.

I learned the stages of grief in nursing school -
and I recognize different ones in each of us.
The stages apply to any kind of loss -
not just death.

I have thought often over the last couple of weeks
about hearing people say of death,
"they're in a better place"

I always hated that....
it never seemed comforting to me-
until now.

No one has said that to me -
because we don't have that promise.
Oh how I wish I could have that comfort
knowing that our baby is in a better place.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Zion has prayed the sweetest words,
thanking God for every day that we had with Meleah.

He has talked about how sad he feels when he finds a little
baby sock stuck to something of his from the laundry.

Isaac has her photo taped to the wall by his bed -
he is processing his own adoption in a different way
through all of this.  He has asked lots of questions that
I have answered honestly, with as much information as I have
about his own birth family.

Michael is our quiet one -
but he journals a lot.
I don't sneak into his private thoughts....
but when I see him writing in his book,
I know it's a healthy way of coping for him.

Of course, the Navy doesn't give any kind of time off for something like this.
So Mike is back to work, in fact, he had to go back in the afternoon that
Meleah left.    In some ways, I am jealous of his busy schedule.

I feel like the days are the hardest for me -
When everyone leaves for school and work
and it would normally be just me and Meleah.

There are moments when I find things -
changing our bed sheets....










in the laundry.....











going through piles of papers that have been sitting far too long














































These things,
take me by surprise.

I find myself gasping for air

air that seems too thick to breathe

and I am not sure I can suck in enough oxygen to live through the next breath.


But then there are times when,
I think I can't do it
and the next breath of air is
clean,
and pure
and sweet,
....it must be a breath of heaven.

I know that Jesus is wrapping his arms around me
taking my pain for me.

For that I am so grateful.

There have also been things that people have written to us
that have touched us - thank you all for your sweet words
of encouragement, love and support.

We have also received flowers, chocolates and margaritas....
all appreciated.

Getting back out on the road, (regularly) is my therapy goal.

I usually listen to club style music when I run.
It keeps my feet moving.

But in an effort to try and understand -
I switched my running playlist to praise and worship music
and just hit "shuffle" over the last two week.

Several songs have spoken directly to my heart.
Some have me running down the street with tears streaming -
but I keep running....

my feet pounding the road


and my heart,
pounding my chest.

One song that keeps coming back is by Mandisa.




Even when there is so much we don't understand,
we know that having Meleah for 6 months
changed our lives;
and showed us
in the form of a baby,
God loves us.

Thanks again to everyone for your outpouring of love, support and prayers.
We are so grateful for the awesome people that God has surrounded us with.

Don't stop praying -  
remember our baby girl
I wish she could understand that we didn't leave her...
that we love her
we miss her
we still want her

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

 to my high school prom date.....




















and my husband of 22 years.

There is no reason to post a sappy
"Life is perfect"
kind of message -
No one believes those anyway.
We have been through more than we could have ever have imagined -






"for better,
 for worse"
and we are still coming out on the top of the pile of  ____ thrown our way.

I love you!

to my first baby boy ....














Michael,
I love you.
You made me a mother.
You changed everything about my life,
and I wouldn't want it any other way.





to my Isaac -

you know that I always wanted a little boy named Isaac.
You are perfect for your name -
Laughter
Your smile is contagious.
I love you.




























baby boy.......





Zion,
You are the only baby that grew in my tummy -
you are one of a kind.
I love you.





to my sweet baby girl...



Meleah,
You will always be "my" baby girl in my heart -

Even if no one ever tells you about me,
I was your first mother and that can't be
taken away.

I love you and I miss you.