Thursday, July 26, 2007

Chapter 3: Getting Artsy

if you haven't done it yet you might want to look at the first 2 chapters to know what's going on here.
Sunday Evening: It starts with a blank canvas and some paint.
[Alexandra, resident of Winnipeg, youngest sister, artist and brain child of this exercise]

Make that a lot of paint. This is just what was on one side of the table.
[Erinn, the 1/2 marathoner choosing her colour]

The boys [Daddy and Alexandra's and Erinn's husbands] had left for the pub after the kids were in bed [Alexandra's and Erinn's, the rest of us left our kids and husbands at home].

Alexandra started lay out painting supplies. Would we be treated to an artistic display? No. We were going to
paint! What? ya! All of us. hmmm. That's a surprise. This should be interesting.

Alexandra began by dividing the canvas into manageable sections. She started with a trunk, added roots then asked us to each choose a different colour. She painted in each section and then......

turned it over to us. To do what?

Whatever we wanted.

I sat back a watched for a while. I needed to think. I had no idea what to do. Maybe watching my sisters and mother would give me an idea.

Shawne, the nurse and artist, paints veins on her red section while Erinn watches. Erinn painted a graceful vine and leaves.

Heather painted symbolic flowers and stars.

Mommie added glitter to her purple section.

I finally got started. I used every colour and painted fun confetti squiggles.

Then Alexandra asked us add one word to our art. Mommie added a phrase. She's entitled. She wrote "The whole earth is full of his glory." Alexandra: "truth", Erinn: "grow", Shawne: "breath", Heather: "grow" [some mental telepathy going on there], Me: "play"

Alexandra waited till we were done and then added tiny flowers to the yellow space.

When it was all done we agreed it looked better as a tree reaching up then roots digging down. So we had a tree of strength [Mommie] and beautiful branches growing in all directions [That's us!]

And here it is:

And now for some sweet.............and silly:

Alexandra's son, Silver

and her daughter, Trinity.

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Chapter 2: The Race

We had to get up at 4:00am to get to the marathon. Here I am pinning on my number in the parking lot of some Safeways just before getting on a shuttle bus. There was absolutely no parking at the race. Everyone had to shuttle and it all worked so well. We were all impressed at how well run the marathon was.

There were almost 13,000 participants in all and over 2,000 volunteers. Mommie, Daddy, Heather and Alexandra walked the 2.5km. Erinn out did us all running the 1/2 marathon. The full and 1/2 marathoners were the first to start and then the 2.5km walkers and runners. Last to go is the 10km walkers. We were usually in the mist of a crowd the whole time. It was so energizing!

Don't get trampled Alexandra!

See all those walkers? Very serious people! Shawne and I had a blast the whole time, talking, laughing, clowning around, and every time our route paralleled the marathoners we cheered them on, "Go Marathoners, Go!", "Your doing great!", "Your awesome!", "We want to be just like you!" I couldn't help it! I couldn't shutup! I thought it was so amazing they were doing it and deserved all the encouragement they could get. All those other 10km walkers? Not a peep out of them, not once! [It was weird.] At least not the ones we saw. There were 800 other 10km walkers so it is possible there were other cheerleaders in the bunch. The other weird thing was the lack of support from passing motorists. Several times our route was on a busy road. We walked on lanes blocked off by orange cones. But very, very few honked their horns in encouragement. Shawne and I wondered if it was a Winnipeg thing. I once participated in the "Big Bike" in Thunder Bay, that's 29 people on a big bike riding a route of a few blocks for charity. Really not a huge physical feat yet people honked and cheered at us constantly. It was cool.
That's not to say there was no encouragement in Winnipeg, not at all! The route was lined with 100's of volunteers whose only job was to stand there, clap and cheer us on for hours. It must have been exhausting. In the residential areas [which are beautiful] people would set up chairs at the bottom of their driveways and cheer. In one front yard there was a Japaneses drums band, at least 15 drummers just given 'er. Awesome!

We all wore these t-shirts that my mom embroidered with "Sursum Corda" which is on the family crest. [we are the Hotsons of the house of Howeson, clan McDonald of the Isles] Being the uninformed, 5th generation, Scottish immigrants that we are [read: far removed from the homeland and therefore not knowing what the heck we speak of] assumed that Sursum Corda was Gaelic although my Dad rightly told us that is means, "Keep your heart strong" or something along those lines. I ran around that morning yelling "Sursum Corda" like it was a warrior's cry. When ever I saw a T.V. station's camera pointed at me, when I was crossing the finish line, I was yelling! [I just have to be sooooo dramatic]

Out of curiosity I just googled it and found this:
Noun1.sursum corda - (Roman Catholic Church) a Latin versicle meaning `lift up your hearts'
hmmm, ok, it's not Gaelic, it's Latin, makes sense, most family mottos are, should have figured out that. But what is that about the Roman Catholic Church? Turns out Sursum Corda is a part of the Catholic Church's service. Makes me wonder if there were any Catholics out there, what did they think I was doing? *sigh*

About 2km into the race we spotted a Starbucks. Detour! We walked in and the guy behind the counter said, 'the washroom's that way.'

'We're not here for the washroom.'

'oh!'. Shocked surprise.

'Grande Chai Latte and...'

'Grande Caramel Macchiato.' Shawne added.

As we rejoined the walk we over heard someone say, 'They got Starbucks! That was smart.' I think they meant that in a good way.

As we were coming back around and passing Starbucks again Shawne spotted the ladies that were in front of us when we went into Starbucks. She recognized the grey hat one was wearing. We had caught up!

'I want to pass her.' I announced.

'Let's run!' Shawne answered. We started running and were shocked how good it felt! It was like taking a break from walking, just as good, probably better than stopping. I guess because we were using different muscles. AND we left Grey Hat in the dust! [sorry, gloating]

Just as we entered the last mile [yah, they had the last mile marked and named] my legs wanted to stop. They got slower and slower. Up until this point Shawne and I had been walking at a quick pace, no Sunday stroll for us. Shawne said, 'this is when you have to push yourself, keep going.'

Ok, keep going! At this point we had joined the marathon route again. They all looked so amazing. They were coming up on the finish of a feat of a life time and they were succeeding with grace! Some marathoners were having fun with it and had dressed up. There were the princesses in tutus and tiaras, batman, the super friends in red capes, a guy in a riped tuxedo shirt and bow tie. Shawne and I talked about what we could do.
Soccer Moms: Dress in matching pink jogging outfits with cellphones and blackberries attached at our waists and get the Starbucks on the way back so we could cross the finish line on our cellphones, drinking coffee.
or Thunder Bay Hat Heads: trucker hats, animal print balloon pants and rock band t-shirts.
One guy, clapping at the side of the road, said, 'Your almost there! There are thousands of people waiting for you in the stadium to cheer for you!' Man! He wasn't whistling Dixie! As soon as our feet hit the plush, red, running surface of the stadium and we saw and heard the crowd Shawne said, 'Let's run!'

What a rush! Here we are nearing the finish line. Shawne had spotted our parents, Heather and Alexandra in the stands. I just thought she was caught up in the moment. I think that is the female 1/2 marathon winner getting her prize behind us which would explain why people were cheering like mad. But, of course when you are nearing the finish line you take all the celebration for yourself! Running under that huge, finish line, timer is another cool experience. Just on the other side there are 20-25 camera men shooting film and snapping pictures. You feel like a star for just a moment. Then you get past them and see hundreds of metals on red ribbon being past out, but their not for you, they're for the 1/2 marathoners. Move on.

Once we were done, Shawne and I stayed behind the finish line so we could be the first to congratulate Erinn. She thought she would be about 2 1/2 hours. As the 2.75 hour mark drew near Shawne spotted Erinn entering the stadium. She looked so amazing! She ran like a graceful gazelle.

Here she is, crossing the finish line at 2:46:47 hours.

Congratulations, Erinn. You are a inspiration to us all! No, seriously! I want to at least do this race again, or others here in Thunder Bay. I wonder if I could run the 10km? [next years race is on my birthday!]
Stay tuned for Chapter 3: Gettin' Artsy

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Marathon runner....well, not quite

Blogger's note: this post was getting really long so I have divided it into chapters.
This is Chapter 1: The Build Up

Yep, that's me, running across the finish line at the Father's Day Marathon in Winnipeg on June 17th. Look at me, breezing across, so fresh and easy, and in only 2 hours and 21 minutes. Huzzah!

Ok, I didn't run the marathon, not even the 1/2. I walked the 10 km with my sister, Shawne and this is only one of the wonderful experiences I had that weekend. [oh, and the walk started 1/2 after the marathon so we did it in less than 2 hours. Huzzah.]

It started with a road trip to Winnipeg on June 15th, with my Mommie [pictured], Daddy and Shawne. Mommie lives in St. Catharines and had been visiting for the week before. Sister, Heather was flying in from Ottawa that day. Sister, Erinn and her family were on the road from Thunder Bay too. We would all meet at the airport.

Heather gets a big Daddy hug.

Sister, Alexandra, who lives in Winnipeg had all of us take turns in the photobooth. She put in the money and then we all ran in and out, trying to get everyone in at least one picture. It dissolved all of us into a puddle of laughter. Great way to start the weekend.

Party time that evening in Alexandra's backyard. It was my birthday. Erinn is naturally, very excited for me while Heather thought it might be cute to threaten to fill my face with cake.

I, of course, knit. This is the first sock of the most kickin' pair ever knit!I am joined here by Kalan and his mom, Erinn. The yarn for this sock [Colinette Jitterbug in Jewel] was a birthday present I bought for myself and go on about in great detail and massive amount of pictures on my knitting blog.

When I could drag myself away from the knitting I took a few pics of the partiers. Starting in the lower left corner, Heather [#2], Erinn [#4], Shawne [#3], Alexandra [#5], Kris [Erinn's husband] and Mommie
[in between Kris and Mommie that is Daddy's white leg, we are the family that doesn't tan. no skin cancer please.] See those bigs candles? They're for keeping away the mosquitoes. Didn't really work but made the place look like a big birthday cake!

Look what we did the day before the big race!Fun, but we are such idiots! I had never ridden a horse before and had no idea what I was getting into. This was an hour long ride. Ouch! [that's me in the orange and Heather behind]

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Happy 140th Birthday Canada!

Sinead came running up the stairs on Sunday morning and exclaimed, "Look at my toast!"
We were just waking and her creativity started a busy day with a good laugh. Of course Barry had to reach for the camera.

I know, yesterday was Canada Day. I am a day late with this salutation but yesterday WAS Canada Day, too busy. Today is the day no one is working, no paper delivery. Barry and I have done practically nothing all day. I went to George's Market and loaded up on fruit, veggies and bread from their 'past due date' shelf [major hull, might go back tomorrow], took Sinead to a sleepover party and loaded a ton of pictures on facebook. Barry has been modifying pictures he took yesterday and putting them on his blog. Bronwyn has been playing with the neighbour girl.

Barry took a bunch of pictures of strangers and past out his business cards with his photoblogs on them so people would check them out to see pictures of themselves and order prints. That sneaky guy! I had no idea he was so entrepreneurial.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Prayer of the worn-out, volunteer children's minister

Job 14:14-17
All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come.

I will keep working. I will not stop. I will continue on the path set before me. I will remain faithful, trusting God for the times of renewal that I need.

You will call and I will answer you; you will long for the creature your hands have made.

Lord, open my ears that I may hear you when you call. I don't want to miss it!
Forgive me for not spending time with you. Give me longing to be with you as you have for me. Thank-you for loving me.

Surely then you will count my steps but not keep track of my sin. My offenses will be sealed up in a bag; you will cover over my sin.

Hallelujah! Thank-you, Lord for forgiveness! Thank-you, Lord that all the steps
I have taken in the right direction are not lost in my sin. Help me to live in your forgiveness. Help me to forgive myself.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Why YouTube Won't Let Me Sleep #2

[to see #1 go to my knitting blog]
CAN'T STOP! I Love My Vintage Sesame Street!
I thought of posting an obvious classic: the pinball machine, but that's to easy. Then I thought, "Who can resist the Queen of Six or New Flash with Kermit the Frog or Monsterpiece Theatre, oh, oh, or Grover as the Waiter or Salesman or Elevator Operator! AHH, Ahh!

WAIT! !........ BERT AND ERNIE! Or those segments with all the cute kids!

Too much, too much!

Instead I decided to look for a more obscure clip...... so obscure I could only find it in Dutch.
The premise is Grover is walking along the street with his flute [ya, flute *giddy*]. He gets called over by a trio of bullies who "tease" him about it with a surprise ending.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Bronwyn dances at the Folklore Festival

I was cruisin' through Sinead's photo collection and was surprised to find that she took a video of Bronwyn dancing at the Folklore Festival on Saturday, May 5th. She is dancing Sean Truibhas, the dance that celebrates when the kilt was no longer outlawed in Scotland, 1747. The leg shaking represents shaking off the truibhas [tr-oo-ze] or pants.

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