Photos courtesy of Ryan Prouty

Saturday, October 18, 2008

When the tom cat's away...chaos ensues!

This has been a crazy week! Paul was gone Sunday night through Friday night near Atlanta for a marriage seminar...without his wife! We just couldn't swing this training time for both of us to go, so Paul went without me. I get the benefit of him learning how to have a better marriage...pretty smart on my part, huh?? I usually think it is a little easier around here with one less person to worry about, but this week was different. There were several times I needed to be 2 people! You will probably hear more details in the Not Me! Monday post! Here are some of the good times!

Alayna's class went on a field trip on Wednesday to Fruitville Farms. It is a pumpkin farm/farmer's market/orchard. It was a beautiful day and just slightly cooler, in the mid 80's. So still not feeling like fall, but the pumpkins made it look like fall! Here are some photos of our day:Alayna was the most excited about riding on the bus!

Deer are for riding too, aren't they?

Alayna found some treasure!
Each child got to pick out a pumpkin to take home. This is her class.
See, it looks like fall now!

Henry gave us a tour of the farm. The kids got to pick an onion and smell fresh basil leaves. They dropped them on the ground and I picked them up to put in my rice and beans!!
The peacocks lost their magnificant tail feathers due to the heat. They'll grow back this winter.

We took a hay rack ride through the farm and orchard. Orange and grapefruit trees are heavy with fruit which will be ripe soon!

We headed back to the school (parents didn't ride the bus due to lack of space...we were relieved!), so I got to know some of the other preschool parents on the way as we carpooled together. That helps so much in feeling connected to this school and getting over not being at Heritage!! We got back to school around 1:30 and the preK kids just had rest time, so I took Alayna and we went to a nearby library together to wait for brothers to be out of school. We played with paper, scissors, embossing tools, and paper punches (fun!), and also found this fun table for playing with boats with magnets on the bottom of the table. Alayna loved it.

We then picked up brothers and went to a park where Gabe had cross country practice to get ready for his meet the next day at Shamrock park. This park is on the south side of Venice and we live in a small town on the north side of Venice, so not anything we have discovered yet. The kids had a great time exploring and playing while we waited.
The next day was Gabe's cross country meet. I wish I could tell you it was great, a fun time, he did his best and came in with a good time and such and such a place...but there was trouble!! The Venice kids went the day before to practice the course, and 3 of our kids (only 4 boys on the team) went the right way, two of them finished the race in 1st and 2nd. Gabe was not one of them. He went with the pack, the wrong way and ended up having to run 1 whole extra mile to bring his course to 3.3 miles!!! He has not trained to run that far, and has never run that far at one time. We had really just worked up to 2 miles last week. I had the worst feeling in my stomach when only the 3 Venice boys came around the bend when expected...but no Gabe...and no other runners (there were 39 total runners). I had some expectations, but not alot since I had never been at a meet before...but this was not what I expected. They were to make 2 laps through the course, so we should have seen them go by twice, but it took over 20 minutes for him to go by the first time and I missed it. He should have been done by then! The Venice boys told us that everyone took a wrong turn, so we knew what was going on, but it was so hard to not know where he was, how he was doing, did he quit?, was he able to keep going, not knowing how far he would have to go, or where to go. I was so disappointed for him! When he did come across the line in 30th place, he was almost in tears! I asked him what happened and he said he got confused. But after going about 1/2 mile, he realized where he had gone wrong, and even when no one else turned around, he did, and had to go back the way he had just ran to get back to the course. He said he kept running the entire time (his time was 30:17 for that 3.3 miles!), and didn't have to stop and walk. He never gave up, but what his tears were for was the 30th place he came in. He felt like he had ran hard and didn't see many people in front of him and couldn't figure out how he had come in so close to the end. I tried to reassure him that his competitors were up to 9th grade (he runs on the "varsity" team since they only have 4 boys on the whole cross country team), and they were faster than he was, but those older boys came in after him I found out later! Because they were leading the pack the wrong way, they got further before anyone could catch them and make them turn around, making them double back further as well. WHAT A MESS!! I hear this happens occasionally that a runner will make a wrong turn, but usually its not all but 3 kids! The third Venice kid got lost on the second lap and ended up not finishing because he couldn't get back to the course, so he just cut through to the finish line. Again, WHAT A MESS! I felt so sorry for the coach who mapped out the course and set it all up on the trails around the park. They got their act together for the girl's race and they ran the course properly and that was quite exciting! Here are the few photos I got because my emotion overtook me and I forgot the camera was over my shoulder. At one point I said out loud, "Oh no, where is my camera??!?" A boy nearby said politely, "I think its on your shoulder!" In my defense, I was a little distracted as well by a whiney little girl who thought the grass was pokey and my responsibilities as the team recorder.

This is 2 of the teams in the background with Gabe in the foreground. There were 3 more teams not pictured.

Their coach prayed with them before the boy's race.

Afterward, Gabe got to talk to his dad and tell him what happened and hear his well wishes and how proud we were of him for gutting it out!

This is a video of Gabriel at the start line. I intended to video more each time I saw him, but I missed him and then forgot where my camera was...oh well, next time!


CihaPet said...

Hey Gabe! I'm proud of you man! You didn't stop! Determination! You finished your race! Waiting to hear about the next one!

Marner Family said...

WOW, GO Gabe!

Not sure how even with the pumpkins it can look like fall, I broke down and turned the furnace on last night to take the chill off. It is about 50 here today, but cloudy so it feels colder. Send some of those warm sun rays my way please. Love the photos of you two though. Miss you much. -b

sara said...

Good Job, Gabe!! What a fun field trip! Yeah, it LOOKS like fall, except for the SHORTS!! We have already broke out our winter coats for the cool nights!!!

Cindy and company said...

Hey Gabe way to go! I can't believe you ran all that way. I only run when something is chasing me! I am so proud of you. You did it!

Anonymous said...

Gabo, I am so incredibly proud of you. I probably would have kept on running the wrong way. Actually, you know me well enough to know that I wouldn't even run. I understand how frustrating it is to do your best and it still isn't "good enough". Remember, man looks at the outside, God looks at the inside. Keep running. I love you buddy. jojo

Emily said...

I am so excited that Gabe is in cross country! It is such a fun sport!!!I can't believe they took a wrong turn...we always had people directing traffic at every turn. Anyway, great job, Gabe, for sticking it out and running so far! This will just make the next race seem much easier because you already know you can run much further! Way to go! We are proud of you!

Emily said...

I didn't know Gbe was in cross country! What a fun sport! You guys will have a blast! I can't believe the course wasn't marked very well...we always had people directing traffic at all of the turns. Anyway, Gabe, great job for sticking it out and running so far! This will just make the next race seem so much easier because you already know you can run much further! Way to go! We are proud of you!!!

Stephanie said...

I think us old people call that character building! I can't believe how much he look like Paul! He's his little minnie me!

Stephanie said...

Oh, forgot to say, pumpkin patch pictures with kids wearing shorts is just foreign to us! Yesterday my Carthart made its debut!

Anonymous said...

I'm trying again to get into the blog to make sure that Gabe knows how very proud we are of him. Gabriel, you are running the race as scripture says and you already know what the final outcome is. I've always known you run like a graceful gazelle and your future in cross country will be awesome.
Keep on keeping on and know we love you so much. Hugs and kisses to your brothers, Alayna, Mom and Dad.

Grammy and Papa

Lisa said...

Wow...I am amazed at Gabe and his perserverance! What a kiddo!! Great job!

I had to turn the heat on the other day so seeing you at a pumpkin patch with shorts on is just making me more jealous!!!! Here I am typing this with the chills procrastinating mowing the lawn too!! lol Great pics!

Your blog always makes my day...thank you!