Saturday, September 27, 2008


Recently, a runner friend and I were talking 'training' (yes, I do that kind of thing now--I feel so runneresque). She asked me if I was tapering yet. 'What the heck is tapering?' I thought to myself, 'a new breathing technique?' Confessing that I didn't know what she meant, she explained that tapering is the two or three weeks prior to your marathon when you start to decrease your mileage. She told me there was a really good article about tapering in the most recent Runner's World magazine. When I got home I read it. It explained that it is very important to taper those two or three weeks before your event so that your body has ample rest time. There was a poll on whether people like to taper or not. It said: 26% love the rest and free time; 55% know it's good for them but feel antsy; 7% could take it or leave it; 5% think it's harder than training; 8% hate it. WHAT IN THE WORLD? I mean seriously? Ok, I know there are those die hard, ultra competitive runners out there but you mean to tell me the majority of people have a hard time with 'rest and free time'???? You've got to be kidding me!

I guess you can tell which group I fall of yesterday, I am officially TAPERING and I am going to enjoy every minute of it! No worries, I won't be trying to run more than my training schedule tells me. Nope. Not me.


I AM TAPERING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-------------------------YEA, YEA, YEA, YEA, YEA---------------------------

You've GOT to see this movie!

Eric and Joshua are camping tonight. So, I got a babysitter (yippee!) and a friend and I went to see 'Fireproof' tonight--Oh my goodness, this movie is a must see! I am going to go see it again with Eric--I am not one to go and see a movie twice, but it is that good! Actually, it is not 'good' it is 'God'--He is ALL over this movie! So, go see it! Go now!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The 'O' Factor

Meet the 'O' factor -- what we call our dear fifth child, Owen:

Notice his angry look--usually his look of choice. You see, Owen has an agenda. An agenda of which we are not big fans of--so we are usually circumventing the agenda. Thus, the 'look' above is usually what you find upon his face. I have pics to prove it:

So last weekend I did my long run on Saturday morning. Eric was 'watching' the kids--when I came in from my run this is how I found him:

Glued to the TV, watching the all consuming Rider Cup. I asked 'where is Owen?' (about three times, before he heard me). He said, 'I'm not sure--I haven't heard him for a while'. Uh-Oh. Not a good sign. We found him sitting in the top bunkbed--a place he is not supposed to be--with his brother's tooth brush and toothpaste. He was trying really hard to get the toothpaste open and he had toothpaste all over his mouth from where he had licked it off the outside of the bottle (don't worry, it wasn't enough to poison him). Then I walked in my room, where I found my jewelry thrown all over the room (another 'O' factor specialty).

I think I sarcastically made some comment to Eric about maybe if he was watching Owen as intently as the Rider Cup this wouldn't have, a little bit later, Eric left to clean out the van (which I'm pretty sure was a 'front' to listen to the Rider Cup on the radio in private--I think I'm on to him) while I got 'ready'--you know, put on makeup, etc. Just down the hall, Jeremiah was in the bathtub playing. Suddenly, Joshua yells, 'Mom, come look what Owen, did!' Owen had found his way to the bathtub and had been filling a plastic container with water and dumping it out onto the floor umpteen times--while Jeremiah looked on. The water had leaked through the floor down to the first story--soaking the kitchen table and everything on it--including some of my most treasured books. The 'O' factor strikes again.

I thought about my sarcasm earlier--I think maybe I need to eat those words :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008


By the way, for the five of you that read this :) , I wanted to let you know that the 'time' shown for when I post is not right. Because I'm technologically challenged, I do not know how to set this clock correctly. I know, I know, I shouldn't care what others think, but I had to clear the air on this one. Just wanted you to know that I am not a freak--I do not post these things at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning! Well, okay, maybe I am a little weird, but not THAT weird! OK. I feel much better now.

Saturday Morning Thoughts

Three things that stood out in my 'Utmost for His Highest' reading this morning:
  • 'Beware of living according to your natural affections in your spiritual life. Everyone has natural affections--some people we like and others we don't like. Yet we must never let those likes and dislikes rule our Christian life. "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another" (1 John 1:7), even those toward whom we have no affection...

  • Being a disciple means deliberately identifying yourself with God's interests in other people. Jesus says, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" John 13:34-35.

  • The secret of a Christian's life is that the supernatural becomes natural in him as a result of the grace of God, and the experience of this becomes evident in the practical, everyday details of life, not in times of intimate fellowhip with God. And when we come in contact with things that create confusion and a flurry of activity, we find to our own amazement that we have the power to stay wonderfully poised even in the center of it all.

I really needed to hear all of those things this morning! How about you? What does God have you thinking on this morning?

How All Boys + One Girl Play

Thursday, September 18, 2008

How Boys Play


Yesterday was a hard day. It was the 17th, the day my mom passed away exactly seven months ago. Actually, the past month has been hard. Last month in August, the 17th fell on our second day of vacation in Florida. That was exactly six months from my mom's passing. That was extremely significant to me because the year before my mom went with us to Florida to the exact same house that we stayed in again this year. We arrived there on August 7, 2007, Eric and I and our kids and my mom. This was exactly six months before the day that she would pass away (February 17, 2008). My mom LOVED the beach...I am thankful that the Lord worked out that she would get to go one more time and that it would be with us. It has been hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that she went with us exactly six months to the day that she would breath her last breath...and that we went back exactly six months later.

My birthday was last month, on the 22nd, on the last day of vacation. I didn't know my birthday would be so hard this year. Is it because your birthday is forever tied to your mother, the person who birthed you into life? Is that why it brings back waves of sadness and grief? Is it because only a mom goes the extra mile to make you feel extra special on this day? I don't know. Grief is a strange just comes in spurts here and there sometimes and then other times it settles down upon you like a blanket being thrown onto a bed. It is hard because I feel like I am dwelling in a 'woe is me' place and I don't want to be doing that! I feel like the Lord said to me this morning, 'you are not dwelling, you are grieving.' I suppose this is true, but it still just feels like self pity.... I suppose the difference between the two is what you do with it. Self pity would be sitting and focusing on yourself and grief would be taking those feelings and continually offering them up to the Lord, asking Him to fill you and be your all in all through it. This is what I want to do. This is what I am trying to do. But, I won't lie--I don't always choose this. A friend told me that you just have to walk through the grief--there is no getting around it. Another friend said that you never know what will set it off; you'll be going along just fine and then it just seems to show up. I have found both of these things to be so true. And man, has it shown up this month! I just keep saying outloud over and over 'The joy of the Lord is my strength, fill me with your joy and strength! Replace this ache in my heart with You.' I know He will come through...He always does.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Strange Sunday

This past weekend I couldn't help being glued to the TV and watching Hurricane Ike roll into Galveston and Houston (sidenote--Geraldo and Shepard Smith--are my favorite newscasters ever when their is something big should I describe them--passionate?) I kept thinking about the devastation there and the devastation that had just happened in Haiti from this huge storm. As I have friends who have family there, it made it seem all the more real. Little did I know that we were going to get to experience this hurricane, too. That it was getting ready to affect us in our city in a very real way.

Sunday started out so normal. We went to church. Eric left with the kids after church and I rode with a friend to pick up lunch and head over to another friend's house for our first discipleship group meeting. On the way there, my friend Nicole and I kept noticing that it was mighty windy. Branches and twigs were blowing across the rode and littered the streets. The sky had a very dark, ominous look yet it didn't really look like it was going to rain. Ominous. That was the very word we used to describe how the day felt. It just felt strange and 'off'. As we turned onto the street where our discipleship group was meeting, a huge tree was blocking the road. We drove around her neighborhood and came in on the backside and ran into Ross' house with our books over our head, laughing that we better take cover, not realizing how dangerous it was. During the hour and a half that we met, three more trees fell in the neighborhood. We are not talking small trees--we're talking huge ones. We heard transformers blow. Huge limbs were down all over. The electricity went out.

When Nicole and I left, I was starting to feel a bit scared. As we drove home, fire engines flew by us, a huge rock hit our windshield, power lines and large trees were down everywhere. And yet it had never even rained! At one point we looked at each other and started singing, 'It's the end of the world as we know it...' Jokingly, but kind of serious. It was such a strange, eerie kind of day.

We drove up to our house to see our mailbox down, two humongous limbs in our backyard, and our back fence down. And, of course, no electricity. We learned later, that there were gusts of 80 mph winds for three or four hours straight. Yet it never rained or thundered, nor was there any lightning. Everyone was going outside and checking out what was going on because it seemed like a typical, fall day that was a bit on the windy side. No one knew how dangerous it was. It is amazing that more people weren't hurt (sadly, there were two fatalities).

Today is Wednesday. Schools are still closed. 100,000+ people still do not have electricity. What a strange week it has been. What a strange Sunday we had. We got to experience what Houston experienced on a very small scale. Now we know firsthand how powerful this storm was and have a real sense for the devastation it has caused.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


The affects of Hurricane Ike rolled into our town and I got to see what I am made of for the last three days, as we have not had electricity since Sunday afternoon! It began as a fun thing, grilling out with our neighbors, playing flashlight tag in the yard, letting the kids have a slumber party in Soph's room. However, for me, the fun waned about 5:00 pm, day #2. I became grouchy without my usually daily intake of caffeine, grouchy that our homeschooling day was chaotic and out of control with no electricity, grouchy that there was a gross mildewy smell coming from our kitchen and grouchy at the fact that we had no hot water for showers. Day #3 rolled around. It started off a bit rough but got better as the day progressed (was the better attitude because I was finally resigned to the fact that our electricity might be off for a while or because we had grilled everything grillable and from this point forward we were eating lunch and dinner out?) Honestly, because I LOVE going out for meals, I think the latter had more bearing on my change of mood. Tonight, as we drove home from eating dinner (OUT :) ), we were pleasantly surprised to round the corner of our neighborhood to beacon of lights shining from the windows of our home. Hooray! Hooray! We could hardly contain ourselves--at least Eric and I...our kids on the other hand, were kind of sad...they had been enjoying the endless playing outside with neighbors, campfires in the backyard, roasting smores, eating all of our meals outside, sleeping together at night. Sophie even prayed today that the electricity wouldn't come back on for awhile. Wow. My kids handle adversity better than I do. This week I learned I have far to go in the arena of 'roughing' it. I definitely had more moments of wimpiness than I care to admit...these past three days showed me the height and depth of my spoiledness.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Just in Case Your Wondering...

As I was sitting in a bath tub full of ice freezing my buns off (ice baths are supposed to help with pain after long runs), I thought about the things marathon training is wreaking havoc on:

  • my hair. Running with my hair stuffed up under a hat creates a mixture of dried up sweat + day old gel that ends of looking like a bird's nest gone haywire.
  • my feet. Black toenails and blisters that looks like a bunyans growing out of the side of my foot is exactly what it sounds like-- U-G-L-Y
  • my afternoon coffee break. Running when Eric gets home from work after coffee causes one upset stomach.

Just thought you'd want to know.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Haiti's on my mind

Wow. Such extreme devastation and loss.

Please go here and read about recent events in Haiti. There is a Rescue Center in Haiti that takes care of malnourished and hurt children...some of them are orphans. Go here to see how you can help them after the devastation of the hurricanes. Just $40.00 will bring 250 people clean water.

To think that I am sitting comfortably in my home with unlimited water and food at my fingertips is almost too much to fathom. Praying that God will be Jehovah Jireh, the Great Provider for these people today.

"For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you welcomed me." Matthew 25:35

Monday, September 1, 2008

Fuquay Family Reunion #3

It was a steamy, hot day for our third annual family reunion. And mine and Eric's adult conversations were few and far between with our grouchy 18-month-old in tow (I keep telling myself, this too shall pass)! Despite the humidity and the screaming son, we enjoyed seeing all of the clan, especially the grandparents! And the kids were in cousin heaven!

Time with the Stouts = FUN

This weekend we went back to Eric's hometown, Murray, KY for his 20th high school class reunion. One of his best friends in his class, Richard, invited our whole family to hang out with their family at their parent's lake house on Saturday. It has been years since we've gotten to hang out with them and years since we've seen his parents and brother's family. I just love this family. First of all, their middle name is hospitality. They make you feel warm and invited the moment you set foot in their home. And they are just comfortable to be around. You can just be yourself. Everyone is low key and laid back and just so fun. Also, they are all about their family. You can just see it in the grandparents face and just in the way they interact. I felt so priveleged to get to be apart of this close knit family's get together this weekend. They are comfortably contagious--when you leave you don't really want to leave....I hope that one day our children will feel this way about Eric and I! Also, this is the first time I've really gotten to hang out with Richard's wife, Kate and I so enjoyed hanging out with her! I wish we could all get together more often! Now that we got a taste of it this weekend, maybe we'll make it happen again sometime in the future--I hope so! Stout family--you guys rock! Our kids had a blast--they haven't quit talking about it!