Saturday, December 26, 2009

Running Arends... and a Carlson

Time to play Blog Catch Up again. We're stepping back in time. It's just a week though, so it shouldn't hurt your head too badly.

Stop when you get to December 19. Saturday. The day of the Santa Runs 5K that Jack and I ran in. Well, I ran and walked. He ran. Our times prove the difference in our strategies. Brad Carlson also joined us. He ran too, but he ran fast.

The picture above shows the three of us before the race. If you pre-registered, you received the nifty gloves and Santa hat. The race was supposed to start at 9AM, but because so many people showed up to register on the day of the race, it was delayed to about 9:30. So here we are, waiting inside the warehouse area, trying to stay warm, stretched out and ready.

Noticeably absent is Leanne, Brad's wife. She couldn't run because her foot was still recovering from a stress fracture and a sick daughter needed her home that morning. Maybe next time she can join us, either running or for moral support!

Me and Jack, moments before the horn to start. The race was in the same place as the St. Patty's race we did last March, along the Tacoma waterfront. It's actually quite an industrial type of area, hence, the trains you see in the background.

Moments into the race. Yes, I stopped to take this picture. I have no pride in my race time.

This group was really fun! The "reindeer" were all lashed up together and Santa was behind them, pushing a stroller (sleigh) that was attached to the reindeer. They sang Christmas songs the ENTIRE race. I can barely talk and run at the same time. I don't know how they had the breath to actually sing, but they were fun to be with... until they passed me.

I stopped again  to take a picture of the 1/2 way turn-around. It's fun when the race-worker people cheer you on and tell you that you're half way done. This is the point in the race where my brain starts wondering why in the world I thought running a 5K would be a good idea. I am tired and bored and the only reason I keep running is simple: to get to the end.

Brad finished 10th in his age category! 26:39.8
Jack finished at 31:41.9
I huffed across the finish line at 38:23.1

So at long last, we all ended up back at the start/finish line. Brad first, then Jack, then after a while, me. Maybe my time would be better if I didn't stop to take the pictures, but then how boring would this blog entry be?

Look at these two fine athletes! It's hard to know who looks better in their Santa hat.

After re-hydrating and walking what seemed like another 5K to our parked car, we went where any respectable athlete goes after a major event.....

here it comes.....

keep going.....

wait for it....


KrispyKreme. We had to carb up. Some people say you should load on carbs before a race, but I'm thinking that it doesn't really matter.

Look at the CUTE donuts they had for Christmas time! Snowman donuts.
Who knew a donut could be so cute? I will run a race again if I get such a great treat at the end.

Monday, December 21, 2009

My Amazing Husband

So Jack takes a listen to the new music on my blog and tells me how much he loves the Rutter Blow Blow Thou Winter Wind. I knew he would like it because he had programmed it for his groups several times when he was teaching high school choir. And he loves Rutter. Who doesn't? I was pretty happy with myself that I chose something he would like so well.

Then as he takes a closer listen, he realizes it's a REHEARSAL recording for the tenor part! He had me listen and by-gum, he was right! Listen yourself and after the women sing the first few bars and the men come in, the piano is BANGING out the tenor part. He said there are web sites where you can listen to recordings of choral music with each part played out separately. Soprano, alto, bass, and on this one, tenor. That is one smart man, my husband with the good choral ear!

Now, stay here at this blog for another minute, and you can hear the piano part I'm talking about. Wonder why uses a rehearsal practice recording for their web site. Oh well. You still get the essence of the piece.

I guess coming to my blog is now a good way to learn the tenor part to a beautiful piece of choral repertoire. Maybe one day we can all get together and sing it. Just the tenor part.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Can't wait for break!

Amanda (14), Thomas (7), Emily (13)
Jack and I are, of course, just about to turn 29

Did you know that kids are out of school in just 1.5 days? Only one more morning of getting up and a school/work day, and then it's officially Christmas break. For two weeks!

these shortbread type cookies are soooo yummy with a cup of coffee

We are plugging away with prep for Christmas:
  • tree is up
  • lights are on house
  • presents are taken care of
  • some presents are wrapped
  • candy canes are in the elf bowl
  • attended the children's Christmas Play at church
  • opening the doors of the advent box... each holds a slip of paper with an old testament prophecy about Christ that came true in the new testament AND candy!
  • ipod is updated with new Christmas tunes
How do you get ready for Christmas? Do you have a favorite tradition or way to celebrate?

Decorated Christmas cookies
(go see Leanne's blog,
for the recipe)

A close up of our tree at home

Me, Leanne and our beautiful Christmas Forest tree
"All Things Bright and Beautiful, All Creatures Great and Small"

"Who's that behind those Foster Grants"

Yikes. I hate heights. I love my husband for being on the roof so I don't have to!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Now there’s something you don’t hear every day…

I have spent the past couple of days decorating a Christmas tree with a couple of fun girlfriends. The tree is part of the Providence St. Peter Foundation’s Christmas Forest. Each year, volunteer designers put together a roomful of trees which are viewed by the public for about a week, then are auctioned off at a gala dinner event. Designing and putting the tree together is such fun!

This year while decorating, my team (Leanne and Ellen) and I noticed several great snippets of conversation that made us giggle. They really are things that a person doesn’t hear every day. For example:

“Oh, there’s another box of Eiffel Towers!”

“I still have a Blue-Footed Boobie.”

“We were going to do the urologist tree.”

“It’s beautiful when you squint your eyes!”

I’m voting for the one with the giraffe!

Priceless quotes. It’s probably a good thing that some of these aren’t heard every day!

Okay, for those of you who are interested in such things, you’ll be fascinated to know that I am doing this blog post with the assistance of Windows Live Writer. I’m trying this first without pictures. If all is a go, I’ll try it with pics!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Testing, testing... shall I return?

So, I guess I'm figuring out that each blog site holds its own frustrations. The key is to figure out which frustrations you can live with. With blogspot, picture size is limited and the page is always so narrow. I found a page that tells me how to widen the page, but do you think I can understand those techie code instructions?

On wordpress, pictures have to be uploaded one at a time, although they can take a pretty large image so no need to change the file size. Hmmmm. So now here I am, testing out blogspot again.

Trying a few pictures now...

Thomas getting ready to shoot the corn cob out of the shooter

Oh, really nice big pic of the kids at Emily's birthday party. Will my blog page cut of one side?

Lewis, the newest member of our family

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Stop your whining, I'm starting to catch up

You thought it would never happen. You thought I didn't care. You thought I had abandoned blogging. Well none of the above are true! I am back to blogging, but to read what is going on in the life of the Arend clan, you'll now have to find me at my new blog site:

The format for organizing things is a little more what I want, so off I go to wordpress. Please come find me there!

Friday, July 10, 2009

v-a-c-a-tion (boom boom boom boom) in the summer time!

Warning: This post has a lot of pictures. The reason is this: I don't want to write out every thing! (ie: I'm a lazy blogger) As I looked over the pictures I had from this great week at Lake Entiat with our dear friends, the Carlsons, I decided that the time in Eastern Washington really boiled down to two things. 1) Fun 2) Food

Enjoy the pictures and tell me if there is anything wrong with a vacation revolving around fun and food!

Emily, Amanda and Thomas eating dessert! (food)

Emily and Thomas on the shore of the lake, waiting for a ride on the WaveRider (fun!)

Watching fireworks while eating homemade ice-cream (food and fun)

Putting a brownie on top of the homemade ice-cream (again, food and fun)

Sleeping in and having a late breakfast of clam fritters and
polishing off the ice-cream (hmmmm, food, but fun too)

Amanda on the WaveRunner with Brad (fun)

Beth making a deluxe drip castle (fun)

Preparing marshmallows for s'mores! (food)

Beth and Thomas (such a fun friendship!)

Eating the homemade ice-cream on the 4th of July (food)

Mighty women cleaning power (fun)

Soft taco night (food)

Tromping home from a day at the pool (exhausted fun)

Synchronized pool jumping (fun)

Eating waffles at Blueberry Hill (food AND fun!)

Cute sorbet for dessert (food)

A water-fight to cool off sweaty boys (fun)

Even though a single picture may represent a thousand words, I don't have enough
pictures here to tell the full story. You can go to Leanne's blog here to see

Walking on Sunshine

Okay, well, it was really "walking IN sunshine". The afternoon was beautiful and I got done at work early so it was off to Tolmie State Park with the kids and dog for a couple of hours.

Thomas's sandy feet

Can you see Mount rainier?

Using huckleberries to play with the macro setting on my camera

Now I'm messing with the monochrome setting. Hmm...

Emily loves to pick the huckleberries...
She didn't realize how sour they are!
Thomas had to get his turn in!

Thomas's turn to walk Annie on the leash

First harvest

Earlier in the week, we ate the first catches from the garden! Admittedly, what came from the garden was small compared to what came from the store, but I was so excited to be able to harvest a little something from the beds. Carrots, zucchini and snow peas were the parts I grew. I mixed them in with some kielbassa, peppers, onions and broccoli from the store. Served on rice. Doesn't it look yummy?