Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Feast of St. Andrew!

We love today's Feast.  Not only do we have our own little Andrew, but today is the start of the St. Andrew Christmas Novena.

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

(It is piously believed that whoever recites the above prayer fifteen times a day from the feast of St. Andrew (30th November) until Christmas will obtain what is asked.)

+MICHAEL AUGUSTINE, Archbishop of New York
New York, February 6, 1897

Last night we all made our chaplets for the Novena.  And this morning we had them blessed after mass.  We then enjoyed Feast Day donuts and prayed the Novena together! 

And if you want a BEAUTIFUL St Andrew Novena Prayer card, go to JOYfilled Family! She made a great one! 


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Annapolis Half Race Recap

This past weekend I ran the Inaugural Annapolis Half Marathon.  When I first signed up for this race, my plan was to go for a PR and a sub-2 hour half.  About three weeks ago, my IT band started to feel sore again, so I scaled back my runs.  At the first sign of IT band trouble in a run, I would stop running and would cross train.  So, I dropped the idea of a sub- 2 half, and just went for a PR.

The race was supposed to begin a 7AM.  I live about 1/2 hr away from the race start and I planned on getting to the race about 45 min ahead of time.  Well, I got stuck in traffic.  The exit was all backed up and it was stop and crawl to get into the parking lot for the race.  It took me an hour and 15 min to get to the race and I got out of my car at 6:58 AM.  Luckily, most runners were stuck in the traffic too and they delay the start by 15 min.  I am not sure why the traffic was so bad.  I have been to this venue for races before and have never had problems getting into the parking lot before.

Since I was late I had to line up at the BACK of the start.  This really hurt me in the first mile that ended up being 30 sec slower than my goal pace.  Around mile 2 the crowd spread out a bit and I was able to get to a nice pace.  The rest of the miles went by pretty quickly.  The bridge always slows me down, but I was able to get back up to pace quickly.  After crossing the bridge at around mile 6, we headed over to the B&A trail . . . . it was TIGHT!!  There was barely room to pass!  It was also around this time that I began to notice I was getting comfortable.  My breathing had settled in and I felt good . . . too good . . . I knew what that meant . . . I was not running hard enough.  I decided to pick up the pace and was feeling really good when I ran over the split mats.  The man there was yelling out, "This is your 10 mile spilt."  I looked down at my Garmin which read 9.6 miles.  I thought it was strange, but thought he must be off.  It was around this time too, that I realized I would get my PR.  Soon we were headed back over the bridge and then I knew we were only about 2 miles away from the finish.

At about 12.1 miles (according to my Garmin), there was a race volunteer yelling, "You only have .6 miles to go!" I looked down at my Garmin. I was still under 2 hours.  At that point I was not sure if my Garmin was off or the race course was off, but I began to BOOK it to the finish.  I knew that I would be close to a sub-2 hour half.  I crossed the finish line at 2:00.36.  My Garmin read 12.71 miles.  I was not sure what was going on, but I knew that I did not run fast enough for a sub-2 half, so something must have been off with the course. And, sure enough, there was.  Most people wrote on the race's FB page that the course was short and when comparing the map from the Garmins to the map on the race's website, there was a block that we were supposed to run down that, obviously, no one did!  (The man who was supposed to mark the course and put out the mile markers, broke his foot that moring, so it was just a mistake that no one could have foreseen!)

I was very pleased with how I ran the half. I was on track to PR even if the course were the full 13.1.  Now, I just have an exaggerated PR that I look forward to CRUSHING in my next half marathon.  I felt good the whole race and there was not even so much as a twinge out of my IT band!

Overall, the race was great. Beside the parking issue and the short course, I think the race was great for an Inaugural race.  It was fun.  The after party seemed nice.  I did not stay. It was cold and all I wanted to do was get a nice hot cup of coffee!  The medal was beautiful! Seriously, the best I have gotten.  And, they gave all finisher's a hat (which I was so happy about . . . I needed another running hat).  Plus, instead of a t-shirt, the race premium was a jacket, which, was also very nice. And, to top it off, this is my FAVORITE time of year to run (I am contemplating another half before the end of the year). So, as you may guess, I would do this race again next year!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Shutterfly Winners!!

Sorry this is late, but the three winners are:

Ladies, check your email, the code with be waiting for you!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Bribery Works!

For the last several weeks, I have been potty training my 3 1/2 yr old.  He has been reluctant to say the least.  The first week, he would say, "No underwear, Mommy. I wear diapers."  He would even go so far as to get a diaper and put it on himself.  But, after a great deal of persistence, he would put on his Thomas the Tank Engine Underwear and go on the potty.

The only problem.  He REFUSED to go #2 on the potty. So, for the past two weeks, I have consistently had to clean messy underwear.  By the middle of this week, I had had enough.  I had to find that "thing" that would be the hook to get him over his fear and just do it.

Then I remembered.  A few months ago we got this amazing toy pirate ship at the thrift store.  It was way too nice to just give the boys, so we told them that it would be a Christmas present.  Well, A has not forgotten about the ship and asks for it, almost everyday.  I had the hook!

Last night I told him that if he went #2 on the potty, he would get the pirate ship.

After lunch he was outside with his brothers and all of the sudden they all came running into the house.  A had announced he had to go!  It was a party atmosphere in the bathroom. Our bathroom is not meant to have three people crowded around the toilet while someone it trying to go, but we crammed in to see if today would be the day . . .

And it was!!  I guess finding the right bribe was the key!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

You know you drink too much coffee when . . .

. . . your kids are watching a video about the tropical rain forest.  The video talks about the rain forest getting cut down and the crops that grow there. Coffee.

And your oldest child says,

"Mom really doesn't want the rain forest to get cut down."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Healthified Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup has become a favorite in our family.  It is fairly easy to make the whole family enjoys it.  It is perfect for cold fall nights.  I have adapted this recipe from to make it a bit more healthy.

Italian Wedding Soup


  • 1/2 pound ground turkey meat
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 5 3/4 cups chicken broth, low fat, low sodium version
  • 2 cups thinly sliced spinach
  • 2 cups cooked orzo pasta (1 cup uncooked)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped carrot


  1. In medium bowl, combine turkey meat, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, basil and onion powder; shape into 3/4 inch balls. Bake these in the oven at 350 for about 10 min, or until browned.
  2. In large saucepan, heat broth to boiling; stir in spinach, chopped carrot and meatballs. Return to boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cook at slow boil for 10 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. 
  3. Add about 15 min before serving.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Real Reason I Run

Time alone. A sense of satisfaction.  Setting goals and working to obtain them. Having fun.  A great time for reflection a prayer.

These are all reasons I like to run.  I feel good when I run.  But the other week I was reminded of the REAL reason I run.  The real reason to run.

Two weeks ago, I finally had my stress test to rule out a heart issue.  The stress test was a "vitality test" that not only monitored the heart, but my breathing and oxygen consumption as well.

The good news is that my heart if fine.  It showed no arrhythmia.  There was no negative change in blood pressure.  All was good with my heart.

Actually, all was great with my heart.

And a few days later, I got the full results of the test.

My % body fat is in the "athletic range"

My resting metabolism is higher than even predicted based on my weight and % body fat.

My exercise capacity is 120% of that predicted for my age, which means my body is "younger" than my actual age in years.

So the real reason I run, is to be healthy. To stay healthy for my kids.

So that I can continue run with my boys as they get older.

So that I can see the joy of them fulfilling their own vocations.

So I can hold my grandchildren.

So I can see my grandchildren fulfill their own vocations.

So I can be blessed to be surrounded by my great grand children.

That is the real reason I run.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sweet Potato Muffin Recipe

I had to share this recipe.  This recipe is adapted from the Sweet Potato Muffin recipe from Runner's World Magazine.  I made these and everyone in the family LOVED them.  They really are light and fluffy.

Sweet Potato Muffins
2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour (preferably pastry flour) -I used pastry flour
3/4 cup organic evaporated cane juice
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
1/4 cup coconut oil (I used safflower oil)
1 cup pureed or mashed cooked sweet potato
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk

Heat oven to 375° F. Grease 12 muffin cups or add paper liners.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, and salt.

In a bowl, whisk butter, oil, sweet potato, egg, and buttermilk. Fold wet mixture into the dry; stir until just combined.

Fill muffin cups three-quarters full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Our trip to Jamestown and Yorktown in pictures

Fun in the rain at Yorktown Battlefield
This post is a month in the making.  In September, we went to Williamsburg for three days during Williamsburg's and Jamestown's homeschool weeks.  This time we went to Jamestown Settlement, Yorktown Victory Center, and Yorktown battlefield.  Here are some of the pictures of the fun we had:
Colonists of the Jamestown Settlement

A grinding corn . . .  doesn't he look happy??

Indian Canoe

Playing an Indian Game

Sleeping, Indian Style

Hollowing out a log to make a canoe

Making needles

Ship sleeping quarters
Running in the rain at the Yorktown battlefield