Monday, April 27, 2009


I participated in my first Komen Race for the Cure Saturday. I was so happy when I was getting ready to register and Rachel told me she would like to participate with me!! We had to get up at 4:15 to pick up one of my support group friends at 5:15 and be in Rogers by 6:30 for the survivor breakfast festivities. It was an early morning but it was a fun day! We met up with several of the other ladies from my support group at breakfast. I wish we'd gotten a picture together but we got in a hurry and I didn't get it. I was AMAZED by the number of people who were there. They say there were about 18,000 registered for the run (I think that includes the 5K and the 1 mile family fun walk). Let's just say this - there were A LOT of people there!! I was even interviewed by a young man from a student newspaper - I didn't ask but I am assuming from U of A. I think it all finally hit me Saturday night when I hit the shower and I was thinking about a question I heard being asked that day - why do you run?? My simple answer came to me in that short moment - because I CAN, because I am HERE, because I am HEALED!! I was overcome with emotion thinking of how grateful I am because I know some who are not able and some who are not here. To GOD be the glory!!This is after the 5K participants took off and we were waiting for the 1 mile family fun walkI wish these pictures were better to show you how many people there were - they were stretched as far as the eye could see!!
Rachel & I at the Survivor Breakfast

I lost or deleted this while uploading the pictures so I hope it works this time!! Robert bought a used canoe over the weekend and Rachel decided Sunday would be a great time for a family float trip to try it out. The guys have been on several multi-day float trips in the past few years but Rachel and I haven't been on the river for a while. Robert and Allan started loading the canoes and gear while Rachel and I packed a picnic lunch and lots of sunscreen (that I *should* have put on my legs). We decided to float the Mulberry River from Byrd's to Turner Bend which was about a 3 1/2 hour float. It was a gorgeous day for a float trip!! We headed out from Byrd's with Robert and I in our aluminum canoe with the cooler and most of the other gear. The kids were in the "new to us" canoe which is a smaller fiberglass? Mohawak canoe. They did well for the first little bit and then...they were upside down for the first of about 4 times to turn over. Rachel was fine after the initial shock of it. Allan...he was a great sport about it all - even after the last spill!! Robert and I never turned over!!!! We did have to stop to empty the water twice after getting swamped going through some rapids though. It was such a fun day together! Normally, we probably wouldn't have skipped church for a day of canoeing but these kind of days have been rare since the summer of 2006 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I am finally feeling somewhat normal again and trying to live life to the fullest! It's great to be on the go again - the kids and I will be in Mansfield this weekend for a wedding shower for my niece, Amy; the following weekend we'll all be at The Wilderness Lodge at Big Cedar in Branson. It's great to be!!!

The kids took a different route and had to portage over two trees!!

On the go again

Pretty water

Pretty girl ; )

more pretty water

There were lots of these butterflies around

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today...April 27, 2009

Outside my window...dark grey clouds

I am thinking...about what needs to be accomplished this week. We'll have a four day week this week so I need to get lots done in a short amount of time. The kids and I will head for La. Friday morning. Rachel and I are so happy we get to share in wedding shower festivities for my niece!!

I am thankful for...time spent with my family over the weekend! I've learned as my kids have gotten older that family time with all of us together is something to cherish. Saturday we were gone our separate ways...Robert was at a BSA campout, Rachel & I were at Race for the Cure in NW Arkansas, and Allan was working on his car. Robert came home with a "new to us" canoe that a friend found at a garage sale on Friday and promptly sold to Robert : ) Rachel decided it might be fun to go canoeing Sunday as we haven't been as a family in a few years. So, Sunday morning we loaded our 2 canoes, all the gear, and a picnic lunch and drove to Turner Bend for a day on the Mulberry River! What a gorgeous day and what a fun time we had together!!!

From the learning on the last regular chapter of English!! The last few are optional review chapters. Attempt to get five days work done in four : )

From the kitchen...thinking of making barbecue chicken in the crockpot. It would be much better on the grill but since the forecast calls for heavy rain and storms later today I think I'll go with an inside cooking plan.

I am wearing...t-shirt and *soft* knit capri pants that are easy on the sunburned legs until I have to go to town later : ) btw - luckily the only place I got a sunburn was my legs!!

I am creating...well, I bought some scrapbook paper and stickers last week. Does that count for "creating" even if I am nowhere near ready to scrap those pages???? I suppose you could say I am creating "ideas" - Lol! I need to wrap my Mom's birthday gift and niece's wedding shower gift, too.

I am spend the weekend with my sister!!

I am reading...nothing at the moment...just trying to get through the end of the school year.

I am hoping...we don't get bad storms this week.

I am hearing...the weather report on the news. I'm not hearing the washer which means it's time to go "reboot" the laundry : )

Around the house...LOTS and LOTS of laundry. Needless to say, after our canoe trip yesterday, there was an added load of "wet" stuff on top of lots to be done anyway. I think laundry multiplies as soon as it hits the basket.

One of my favorite things...enjoying God's creation with Rachel. She has developed a love for birdwatching which has led to watching all sorts of nature in our yard. This weekend we spotted a red-breasted Grosbeak at our feeder. We have a rabbit that appears to be living down by the lake underneath our pedal boat. He's fun to watch in the morning when he comes out to sun. We saw lots of pretty, small lavender butterflies at the river yesterday.

A few plans for the rest of the week...a few errands later this morning. Ballet schedule is a little different this week - WAB company is dancing at Mayor's Honors tomorrow night so tonight is dress rehearsal. Tomorrow I'll attend the Mayor's Honors as one of our studio teachers is being honored for her contribution to the arts in Fort Smith. Need to make sure the house is clean and pack for our weekend trip.

Here is a picture thought I am I'll share two pictures from our weekend canoe trip.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Easter Pictures and maybe my last post of the day : )

The weather on Easter wasn't very conducive for our normal outdoor Easter pictures and I had one person who didn't really want his picture taken. Therefore, there aren't many pictures to show!

Note to my mom (who wondered if everything was okay since I hadn't blogged in a while) - I think I'm caught up on my blogging with the exception of a post about Allan's car! Happy reading and enjoy the pictures. Love you!!!

Cinderella Ballet

Rachel danced as the Winter Fairy and a Ball Guest in "Cinderella" last weekend. Here are some pictures from the weekend.Rachel & her fairy attendent

Winter Fairy, Spring Fairy, Summer Fairy, Autumn Fairy

Fairy Godmother & Rachel
Rachel & Cinderella
Getting the hairpiece in just rightReady for "Paquita" at the Monday school performance

Thank you Rach for more great memories!

Our Birthday Girl

Rachel's 15th birthday started off with a surprise at breakfast while we were at RDA in Sugar Land, TX. All the ballet company girls gathered in the breakfast room and surprised Rachel with cookie cake and singing Happy Birthday. There were two cookie cakes and sadly, I only got a picture of one of them. The other one had white frosting and a pink ballet shoe - it was so pretty! Most of the girls ate some of the cookie and then we packed the vans to come home. One of the guys at the hotel was helping me load my van so I set the leftover cookie cakes on the curb while we unloaded the luggage cart. About an hour down the road the girls started asking about the leftovers and suddenly I remembered I had set them on the curb and guess what? They were still there!!!!!! Well, really, they probably weren't still there. I would imagine that at least the unopened one was probably enjoyed by the valet parking attendents who had teased earlier in the weekend that they took French fries for tips : ) Rachel did finally forgive me for leaving her cakes on the curb!

A couple of days later I took Rachel and her friend, Jessica out for lunch and to a movie to celebrate. For our family celebration we made her favorite chocolate cake and had dinner at Cheddars. She also got to stop by the driver's license office and pick up a study guide to study for her driver's permit - oh, no!!
Rachel entered the world just before midnight, March 23, 1994 after 20 *long* hours of labor ending in a c-section. We were overjoyed to have a girl join our family as girls are rare on Robert's side of the family. Rachel was such a good baby! She was quite shy as a preschooler and through early elementary age but she was never quiet at home : ) We started homeschooling when she was in second grade. She's always been a hard worker and always wants to please and do things correctly. Rachel started dancing that same year and hasn't stopped. She *loves* ballet and is a senior company member of Western Arkansas Ballet. She takes class four nights a week as well as many Saturday rehearsals for The Nutcracker and Cinderella ballets each year. Rachel loves the Lord and her favorite passages to read are usually Psalms and Proverbs. The next year should be exciting to see her grow and mature. She's leaving home for the month of July to attend a summer dance intensive at North Carolina Dance Theatre and she'll be learning to drive soon. She's gaining her independence and growing her wings - a scary thing for this mom, yet also a welcome sign of growing up. We love you birthday girl!!

Regional Dance America/Southwest Festival 2009 - Sugar Land, Texas

I traveled to Sugar Land, Texas with the ballet company from Western Arkansas Ballet in March. They were attending Regional Dance America- Southwest Region's 2009 Festival. This was my third trip to RDA with the WAB girls, but my first to attend as a chaperone. Oh my goodness, can you say EXHAUSTED?? That's exactly how I felt when we got home and I didn't even dance ; ) We drove down on Thursday, checked in the hotel and took the girls to dinner. Friday - Sunday the girls took classes from 8:30 a.m. until 4 or 4:30 p.m. Each night there were performances to watch. A few of our girls danced Friday night in an emerging choreography piece by one of our former company members. There is a dancer party following the performance on Friday night so we were out until about midnight. Most of our girls danced Saturday night in the piece that our adjudicator had chosen. Saturday night there was no event after the performance so we got to bed maybe a little earlier. Sunday night was Gala Night - 3 hours of ballet followed by a VERY late banquet. We were up early Monday morning for the long drive home - exhausted!! As a chaperone, I had three girls in my room and also had responsibility for making sure the girls were fed at meal time. The festival provides pre-ordered box lunches so all we had to do was pick those up each day, but supper was a fun experience. Ever try to order takeout for about 25 people? Umm, giving an Italian food order to a man with a heavy Spanish accent while riding in a car in Houston traffic was a memorable experience! Hey, they delivered and got the order perfect. Chik-fil-a rocks when placing a large order, especially when you place it early in the afternoon! They priced each order individually so LeAnn and I weren't stuck with a calculator for an hour like we had been the day before!! Actually, as exhausting as it was - it was a lot of fun and our girls were great. The only downside of the entire trip was that Rachel was playing around in a van on the way down and cut her toe and is losing a toenail. She didn't take some of her classes so she missed out on some good stuff but I hope she learned a lesson about taking off her shoes in the back seat of a van and kicking the seat in front of her - Lol : ) Rachel @ RDA Gala with some friends from last summer's OU SummerWind Dance Intensive

WAB Company girls @ RDA Gala (being silly late at night)

Rachel & Emily at dinner before the Gala performance
Rachel & Mom

February - Dallas Trip & YSC/LBBC Conference

Rachel and I traveled to Dallas the last weekend of February and spent a few days at Rob & Sharon's with Nancy & Jerry, Wendy & Brad, Sophie, Ryan, Emily & Brooke. This was our first visit to meet the newest addition to our family, Ryan Thomas Schmitz! Isn't he a cutie??
Sophie started playing soccer last year and she is an awesome little soccer player!! I was so happy we got to see one of her practices. Nothing like watching a bunch of preschoolers playing soccer. And, I have to give it to the girls - they were tough!! There were boys practicing on the next field over and they were the ones crying and whining for mom - NOT the GIRLS!!! Way to go Soph!
We took the kids to what my nieces refer to as a "bounce house". It's a big warehouse type building full of inflatables - what a way to keep them occupied, entertained and wear them out all at once!

Soph on the slides

Brooke & Emily at the soccer fields:

Somehow, we missed getting a picture of the adults this trip. We usually try to do that when we are all together but it was a little hectic this trip. We'll all be together again in June and I'm sure there will be lots of picture taking at Amy's wedding.

While we were in Dallas, Rachel got to spend the weekend with her cousins, aunts and uncles while I slipped away for a few days. I attended the 9th Annual Conference for Young Women Affected by Breast Cancer at the Hotel Anatole. This conference is sponsored by Living Beyond Breast Cancer and the Young Survival Coalition. I participate in a YSC bulletin board and have come to "know" many women who, like me, were diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40 or younger. I was able to meet some of these awesome women over the weekend as well as make new friends.

Vendors and Survivors!!

I attended workshops on Bone Health, Practical Tools for Living with a History of Breast Cancer, and Breast Cancer Genetics. There were general sessions with Medical Updates, Embracing Life Through and After Cancer, and Diet and Nutrition Research. At the banquet, I sat with women from Arkansas, California, South Africa, Arizona, and another state but I can't remember which one ; ) I had a great time and hope to attend next year in Atlanta!!