Monday, April 30, 2007

Something to make you smile

Here are some religious cartoons that a friend sent to me today. They made me smile and are not intended to offend. Have a blessed day!!

This is when you know that your catholic friend is driving too fast. :-)

Looks like that Woodpecker has to go!!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter

I took Parker to our Good Friday service at church. I did not know what to expect as this is our first Easter at our new church. It was an incredible service. I told Parker that he could draw as long as he drew pictures that had to do with the service. I picked three of my favorites to share with you.

Here he drew Jesus when he died on the cross. On Good Friday we reflect on how Jesus was sent to earth to die for our sins. Sins are the things that we do wrong. He took the punishment for our sins, so we wouldn't have to.
But it doesn't end there. Jesus does not stay dead. Three days after he was crucified he rose from the dead. My scanner cut off the lines above Jesus that emphasized Him going to Heaven and the word heaven. How exciting to know that Jesus did not stay dead and that someday I will get to see Him.
This was Parker's final picture to summarize the whole service. It is called, "The lifecycle of Jesus." If you start in the upper left corner you can see the star of Bethlehem where Jesus was born,then you see baby Jesus, then he grew up to become a man and that's when he died for us. He then was put in the tomb and then went up and to heaven and that is the lifecycle of Jesus. This is how Parker explained the picture to me. He had a mini Etch A Sketch in his pocket in case he needed it during the service. He pulled it out after the service and said, "Wow, I forgot I had this in here I was so into the service." That made me so proud.

Saturday night we dyed Easter Eggs. Here are the kids all ready to go!!
Here they are when they are all done holding up their favorites. We had a great time!!
Have a blessed Easter. Take time to remember why this holiday is celebrated. It is because of the greatest gift God has ever given us, His own son, Jesus.

For us back of the packers

A friend of mine named Larry sent me this article. Larry and I met on the message boards. He lives in Wisconsin and is also on this crazy triathlon journey. I will get to meet him and his wife next month at BIKE THE DRIVE in Chicago. It will be nice to meet in person. He is always sending me encouraging articles and asks here and there how the training is going even when I think he knows, it's not. :-) Thanks for all the encouragement Larry. This article reminds me how everyone has a story to tell and we all need to listen and be an encouragement to each other in this journey.

The Penguin Chronicles:

September 1995:

Running With Friends

Over the years, I've seen some really fast runners. I've actually known some pretty fast runners. And, I guess I'd say that I've been acquainted with some kinda fast runners. But I've never been a friend with any really fast, or pretty fast, or even kinda fast runners. All my friends are Penguins.

I'm not altogether sure why that is. It may be that at the beginning of races, the really fast runners talk to no one, the pretty fast runners try to talk to the really fast runners, and the kinda fast runners talk to themselves. Me.... I talk to the people around me. I talk to the group of runners who find themselves being pushed backwards as the field of really fast, pretty fast, and kinda fast runners line up ahead of us.

I talk to Charles. Now Charles, on a good day, is a 60-minute 10K runner. Charles is the guy in lime-green spandex shorts. Charles is the guy who thinks that if he pulls his lime-green spandex shorts up high enough they will hide his sagging abdominals. They don't. They do, however, reveal more about Charles than I wanted to know.

I talk to Will. I don't know Will very well, but I think he must live alone. Will likes to talk. No, Will LOVES to talk. Mostly about Will. I've seen Will run a 1/2 marathon in padded biking shorts because that's all he had with him. That's the way it is with Will. Don't ask him how he's doing, unless you have the time to hear the answer.

I talk to Lee a lot. Lee is a friend. Lee has run 70 some-odd marathons. Well, OK, Lee has been "IN" 70 some-odd marathons. Lee ran my first marathon with me. We talked a lot that day; it took us 5 hours. Lee likes to finish before they close the course. And usually he does. But not always. But that's the way Lee wants it. The only time I've ever seen Lee run fast was when I told him that Will wanted to talk to him!!

I talk to people whose names I don't know, but who I see all the time. For them, I make up a name. Like the Leprechaun Man. The Leprechaun Man is about 70, I think, and about 5 feet tall. In the winter he runs in a green wool sweater with a pointy green hat. He looks like a leprechaun. He's a downhill runner. On hilly courses he passes me on every down hill and squeals "I'm a down hill runner!!"

I talk to the panty-hose lady. I'm sure she has a real name, but the panty-hose lady works just as well. She wears panty hose under her running shorts. She wears them when it's 20 degrees and when it's 80 degrees. Sometimes they are sheer to the waist, other times they change colors about the middle of her thighs. I've always wanted to ask her how she decides which kind to wear.

Sometimes, though, if I go to a race I've never done before, I don't see any of my old friends, so I've developed a system to help me make new friends. This system has been thoroughly tested at running events around the country. I pass it on to you for your use.
* Never try to talk to someone who isn't wearing socks. I don't know why, for sure, but people who don't wear socks also don't talk.
* Don't try to talk to anyone with a tattoo on his or her ankle.
* If the temperature is below freezing, don't talk to anyone who is wearing only running shorts and cotton gloves.
* Don't talk to anyone who is wearing a shirt from an impressive event. They want to tell you about it.
* Find someone who is standing alone near the back. They haven't done many races and will welcome the company.
* Look for people near the back wearing new shoes.
* Look for someone wearing a shirt from some other sport, like a professional bass fishing tournament. They've got stories to tell.
* For races over 5K, get into a sprinters crouch. If the person next to you looks over and does the same thing, they know less about running than you do and you've found a partner for that race.

I make new friends at almost every race using this system. I met a woman from Pittsburgh who trained for a marathon as a declaration of independence from her husband and children. I met a stroke victim who could only really run with one leg while he dragged the other. I met another man whose arthritis had twisted his back so severely that he almost ran like a crab. I have laughed myself silly. I have cried my eyes out.

It doesn't matter what the location or distance, these people, or folks just as interesting, are there. They are among the most interesting people I have ever met. Their stories are as fascinating as they are. Because it takes us so much longer to run the races, we have the time to tell each other our stories. I've told mine many times and never had one person say that they couldn't talk because it might cost them a PR for that course!!!

And maybe, in the final analysis, that's why all my friends are Penguins. Maybe for us the running is just a means to an end. Maybe we're slow because our stories are long and need time to be told. Maybe we know that we can't hear others, or ourselves, when the blood is pounding in our ears.

Waddle on, friends.