Friday, August 31, 2012

Speed Week

This week I have been concentrating on improving my running speed.

Friday I ran a full 5K (3.2 miles)-because if I don't run the full distance at least somewhat regularly, I will never be ready for the 5K.

Sunday morning I did a tempo run:  10 minutes at normal speed, 10 minutes as fast as I could maintain, and then 10 more "normal" minutes.  My pace really improved on this run.

Tuesday I did intervals at the gym.  The track is small-12 times around the track is a mile.  I ran around it twice at normal speed, and once as fast as I possibly could, and then I repeated that process for 2.5 miles.  This was my fastest run yet.  I was so proud of myself for my 12:00 pace (told you I was slow).  I may have overdone it a bit, though.  My face was bright red for about an hour after the run, and I could still feel my heart racing a few hours later.  And then came the major muscle soreness.  No pain, no gain!

Yesterdays run was just bad.  When my alarm clock went off I contemplated not getting up, but forced myself to.  Then I went outside to run and stood at the edge of my driveway not wanting to start.  I finally convinced myself to start running, but just had no energy to put much effort forward-that coupled with achy muscles made for a "run" pace that I could have actually walked faster.

Overall I think it was a great running week-I pushed myself harder than I have before, and I paid for it.  But it will make me stronger in the long run (no pun intended).  Ready for a good, long run tomorrow!


Today we set up a booth at the college to introduce our church to the students, and to recruit volunteers/interns.  We made some great connections-I can't wait to see what the future holds!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Camp Evaluation

Now that the last Kids Camp of the summer is over, we got together with those in leadership roles, and evaluated how the summer went.  We talked about everything-services, the facilities, activities, the schedule.  It was a great meeting, and I think because of it next year's camps will be even better!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


After last night's dinner disaster, I thought I would post tonight's dinner-just so everyone out there in internet-land can know that my family does get some good meals from me!  We had tamales (which came from Costco), and I made a sour cream-cheese to cover them in.  II didn't tell my kids there was sour cream in the sauce, because otherwise I probably would have been told they didn't like it.  I told them it was queso, and they loved it.
I found the recipe at  It was super-simple!  Here you go if you are interested:

2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
1 c. chicken broth
1 pkg. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 c. sour cream
Melt butter, add flour, bring to boil, add broth and boil until thickened, add cheese until melted. Remove from stove and add sour cream until combined.
Pour sauce over rolled enchiladas and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Monday, August 27, 2012

5K Goal Change

Over the weekend I discovered that the 5K I was planning to run in November just happens to fall on a day we will be out of the state on vacation.  To say I am disappointed is an understatement.  I was really looking forward to this!  My first 5K was last year at this particular event-and I walked it.  This year, the same event was going to be my first 5K that I ran.  I had been checking out the calendar to figure out another event to sign up for-I need something to keep me motivated-when my sister-in-law asked me if I would run a 5K with her on Thanksgiving morning.  Perfect!  Now I have something to keep pushing me to train hard-I am still disappointed, but now at least I have something to look forward to instead.

Dinner Disaster

Last week I bought a box of red beans and rice to keep in the cabinet for a day when I needed to cook something, but didn't want to spend much time or effort on dinner.  Since my hubby had to work late tonight, it seemed like the perfect opportunity.  I made a quick batch of cornbread, and noticed the fresh okra in the fridge, so I figured I could fry some of that up, too.  Dinner became a disaster.  The cornbread was great.  I got the oil too hot for the okra and burned the first batch; the second batch just wasn't enough.  I decided I didn't need to measure the water for the red beans and rice-I would just eyeball it.  That decision made me end up with soup.  I am definitely going for something easier tomorrow night!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


One of the projects my husband and the teenagers from church have been working on is the renovation of the new youth campus.  The big reveal is this week on Wednesday-and there are lots of last minute things to do.  Today, the boys helped get the floor for the snack bar ready. (Notice the bags they put on over their new school jeans.)

Get Out Of There

This year our pastor is doing a series on how to build the church.  Each month he breaks it down even further-one month he talked about how to build a family.  Today's message was about manners, and the important role manners play in building a church.

He used the scripture from 1 Corinthians 15:33, "Be not deceived; evil communications corrupt good manners."  I am used to hearing this verse from another version that goes more along these lines, "Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character."

He used that passage, and then (in reference to manners), he made the statement:  "If you can be a good leader, lead them out of it.  If you can't, get out of there."  That statement he made really spoke to me.  One of the questions I hear again and again about Christianity is "Jesus hung out with the crooks, so why can't I?"  Or worded a different way, "How can I help the people that hang out in bars if I'm not willing to go in there with them?"

The answer lies in his statement-if you are a leader (not by title, but by personality), and you have the ability to compel a person to see Christ in you, then it will be easier for you to "hang out with sinners".  If you are not a leader (again by nature-not by title), then being in that negative environment will quickly corrupt you.  You need to learn to recognize the signs of when you are picking up the bad habits of those you are witnessing to, so you know when you need to draw closer to him, and to flee the negative situation before it further corrupts you (not just manners-but anything).

I am blogging this because it spoke to me, but for anyone who might be reading this that thinks I am trying to say it's okay to go in bars-that is not at all what I am saying.  There is a time to witness, but you must also have a time to be fed.  The Bible also says to flee the very appearance of evil (1 Thess. 5:22)-and I feel hanging out in bars fits into this category.  Learn to recognize when negativity is starting to affect you-and when it does-get into your prayer closet, and make an effort to draw closer to Him.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Snickerdoodle Cake

When my hubby was in Haiti he created a new recipe called snickerdoodle bread.  Since snickerdoodles are my favorite cookie, I asked him to make me some.  Today he had the chance to make it!  He changed a few of the ingredients up, and said today's version is more of a cake than a bread.  Whatever it is called, it is yummy!  I would say it falls into the coffee cake category.

Now that I said that, I may have to brew some coffee!

Tortellini with Ham & Cream Sauce

At the grocery store this week, I saw a package of tortellini and was inspired.  I love tortellini.  Way back when, I would buy the spinach filled variety, but I haven't been able to find that in a few years.  I couldn't even find the spinach and cheese variety this time, so I settled for just cheese filled.  Then I tried to figure out what to put with it.  I found some shredded parmesan, chopped ham, grape tomatoes, and a zucchini.  I figured I would google for a recipe when I got home.

My search led me to an article published in the Gadsden Times back in 1986, where I found a recipe called Tortellini with Ham & Cheese Sauce.  As I was gathering my ingredients today, I noticed that we were out of onion, so I sent my son to the store while I started chopping all the veggies-something my hubby calls mis en place.  I am just guessing on that spelling.

Zucchini-I had only one, so that's all I used, and I chopped it in small pieces since my boys don't like it.  I cut the whole pint of grape tomatoes into about 2 or 3 pieces each-but I had no desire to peel them, so that just didn't happen.
As to the "hot pepper" the recipe called for, I grabbed a frozen jalapeno that was from our garden last year.
Yum!  Don't all the veggies and ham look so good cooking up together?  I cooked it all up in basil infused olive oil since I couldn't find the regular-although I am sure it was somewhere right under my nose.
I also rarely have heavy cream at my house unless it is November or December and we plan to do a lot of baking.  My coffee creamer wouldn't work-it is flavored with York Peppermint Patty.  My choices:  1% milk or evaporated milk.  I went with the evaporated milk.  I also used the whole can-way more than it called for.  I also used way more water from the tortellini than called for.  Unfortunately, this made it pretty runny, but the flavor was great!  It almost could have been called Tortellini Soup.  I skipped out on the scallions and used extra parmesan instead.  Maybe the next time I am in the mood for tortellini I will remember this yummy recipe!
Here is the recipe I typed from the newspaper article:

Tortellini with Ham & Cream Sauce
From the Gadsden Times December 3, 1986
By Pierre Franey

4 quarts water
salt to taste as desired
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tbsp finely minced garlic
1/2 pound cooked ham, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 pound zucchini, ends trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes, about 2 cups
1 1/4 pounds red, ripe tomatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes, about 3 cups
1 tsp finely minced, seeded hot pepper, optional
1 9 ounce package fresh or dried cheese tortellini
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup finely chopped scallions

1. Bring the water to a boil and add salt.
2. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the garlic and onions.  Cook briefly until wilted.  Add the ham, and cook stirring, about 1 minute.  Add the zucchini and cook, stirring, about 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes and cook about 5 minutes.  Add the pepper and continue cooking about 5 minutes.
3.  Meanwhile, add the tortellini to the boiling water, and cook 5 to 8 minutes or cook to the desired degree of doneness.  Scoop out and reserve about 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.  Drain the tortellini.
4.  Add the 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid to the sauce, along with the cream and cheese.  Stir.  Add the tortellini and blend well.  Sprinkle with scallions and serve.
Yield:  4 servings

Friday, August 24, 2012

First Scrimmage

Tonight my youngest son played his first scrimmage of the season.  He is on the 9th grade team this year-and I am a nervous mom watching him play all these kids that are the size of adults.  5A ball is no joke!  Here is the team playing.
 He is somewhere in that green huddle in the middle of the picture.
 Here he is on the field.  In this play he is the green player furthest to the right-almost dead center in the picture.
Here I was trying to locate him on the sidelines.
After I took the picture, I just zoomed in and cropped it so I could see him better.  He is the first player on the left that is wearing a helmet.
Here he is after the game-not sure what the final score was since they didn't have the scoreboard going but I don't think they won. (In case you weren't aware-I have no clue what was actually happening on the football field.)
And another picture of him with his proud daddy!

Birthday at Babe's

Babe's Chicken House is always a fun restaurant to go to.  The waitresses do the hokey pokey every hour, the baby rattler's always make me laugh (although they didn't make an appearance today), and the food is just always good.  Today we brought a group of students at church out to Babe's to thank them for their hard work this summer throughout the renovation and worship team.  And while we were there we couldn't resist having the waitresses come embarrass the intern since his birthday is tomorrow!  Since it's a chicken house, the birthday boy had to wear a chicken hat and beak.  Good times!

Map My Run App

I see many people post their runs on facebook all the time.  What is neat is it tracks everything-how far they went, how long it took them, and what their average pace was. I have been intrigued by their apps, but since I am a very slow runner I was a little embarrassed to post all that for the world to see.  It never occurred to me that you could still use the app, but just not post to facebook.  Silly me!  I finally downloaded an app called Map My Run.  Guess what?  I love it!  I can't figure out what took me so long to start using it!  I think it is going to help me improve my speed!  I downloaded it just in time, too.  I decided that today I would run a full 5K-3.2 miles.  Since I am training for a 5K I may as well get used to running one at least occasionally.  It totally helped me to strive to decrease my time and to finish strong!  The best part-it is a free app!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Inspirational Help For Running

It could be very easy for me to look at my run time and be discouraged.  People will easily lap me on any given run, but I am thankful for all the motivational sayings and pictures to help keep me going that I find on pinterest, and on the Run The Edge facebook page.  I know with time I will improve.
This one is my favorites to quote to myself while I am out on a run:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Truck Trouble

This has been a fun month of dealing with the truck.  And by fun, I mean, not fun at all.  My hubby has replaced so much stuff on it already trying to chase down the problem.  I think he is doing something with the fuel tank here.
Then we had a mechanic friend look at it.  And now it is in the Dodge house.  We are ready for it to be fixed so we can sell it!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Free at Logan's

Quite some time ago I signed up for email coupons from Logan's.  They send me coupons probably once a week or once every 2 weeks, but I usually ignore them.  Not because they aren't good deals-I just usually only print them when we are planning to go there.  Tonight my hubby had to work late, and my youngest had football practice until late, so I brought my oldest along with me and some friends from work for a buy one get one free kinda night.  Yum!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Haitian Food

After we got back from Louisville, and my hubby was home from Haiti, I asked him to make me some Haitian food.  Tonight, I got just that!  He said that this meal was a typical lunch for the Haitians-minus the chicken.  He said they typically only eat meat on Sunday.  This is called poul creole (Creole chicken), diri ak pwa (rice and beans-mixed together), and all covered in sos poul (chicken sauce)-which was a tomato based sauce with okra, green peppers, and some hot peppers.  Also (and pretty obviously from the picture), there was bread, but I am not sure what they call it-my guess is pain.

When I say it was good, I am making no understatement.  I can see how the Haitians eat it everyday.  I plan to take leftovers to work all week-it really is that good!  I hope my hubby decides to make this regularly!

Cool Morning Run

This beautiful blur is me running - or more accurately, a shadow of me running.  You see, it was dark, and there was a street light casting a shadow over me, plus since there was motion my camera didn't focus very well.  Still at it.  Gonna lose the weight, and be ready for my 5K in November!  73 degrees this morning-I could feel the cool breeze-summer is surely coming to an end.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Splash Station

Every year, our church rents out the Splash Station as a back to school fun thing for the whole family.  Everyone had a lot of fun this year!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


After a long day, this was all I wanted-my recliner along with a cup of coffee, Psych, and my computer.  Ahh!  It feels good to relax!


Today I worked at Celebration, an awards ceremony for girls in our area that have committed to and memorized scripture, read the entire Bible, and met various other goals.  I worked on the stage, helping to pass out their trophies (view from my chair below) and certificates.  They also received a crown.  It was  a neat event, and I loved seeing the girls all dressed up in their long gowns being escorted by their dads.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Kids Camp Fun

This was the last Kids Camp of the summer, and while I was only able to be there for the first day for registration (I was busy at work planning for a big event this Saturday), I have been hearing great reports.  It sounds like all the kids are having fun, and the groups are enjoying our new location.  I snagged a few pictures from my friends facebook who is there this week: