Monday, June 29, 2009

Reed's Lake 5K

Saturday I joined some friends in running the Reed's Lake 5K. It was the first time most of us had participated in a running event like this, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the morning. I ran a few miles on Thursday and Friday to make sure I would survive the race.
Over 1700 runners participated in the 5k and 900 runners ran the 10k. A microchip sticker they gave us to put on our shoe told me online that my time was a little over 38 minutes.
I don't have a fancy ipod like many of the other runners, so I enjoyed listening to the conversations around me as I ran. Just having labored with Elliot I realized that giving birth and running have a lot of similarities. The encouragement runners offer each other sound a lot like the coaching needed in labor, "you're doing a good job," "let's get to the top of this hill," "relax your arms and shoulders." After thinking this, I even heard several women joke about memories running evoked for them of their labor experiences. So you might wonder, why in the world would you want to wake up at 6a.m. and run three miles? Because discipline and hardwork reaps great rewards, confidence and lots of celebration after completing the race!
Several dads were running with their young daughters or sons and it was fun to hear their conversations. My favorite was about a 9-year old boy, who had enough energy to run circles around his mom ask, "can I sprint the next half mile and then wait for you?"
Now I have to convince Brian to run with me. In high school he was running 400 meters in less than a minute at State and the Drake relays....if I just gave labor three weeks ago, he has no excuse!

Monday, June 22, 2009

U - Pick Strawberries

The U-Pick fruit season has begun in Michigan. U-pick strawberries are first, and the cherries and blueberries follow. Peaches and apples are ready in August and continue into the fall. We picked a nice box of strawberries (u-pick is priced at $1.25 a pound) and canned one batch of strawberry jam. We froze a few bags for later to top ice cream or angel food cake later in the summer. Yum!

And an extra picture of Grandpa enjoying a book on Father's Day weekend. We thought this picture was funny.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

New Patio Project

Memorial Day weekend Brian, Ezra and I tackled putting in pavers around an old hot tub patio that wasn't quite big enough to do anything on. It is a fenced in area and a great spot for Ezra to be outside by himself when I need to be working inside. It will still work great as a hot tub patio, but for now it serves our family well as a sand box/pool/three wheeler riding area. Some before and after pictures are below.

Being 39 weeks pregnant I didn't help as much as I would have liked to, but I carried a lot of bricks from the trailer to their spots. I had it all researched out on the internet the week before to make sure we'd do the project well. I explained the whole process to Brian and he grinned and listened. As we got started on Friday night, it was apparent that he'd done this before and listened to appease me. He and Ezra worked hard at digging the river rock out around the site. Thanks grandma Jan for the red shovel!

Ezra stays cool on an 80 degree day with the water hose. The downside is that I find sand all over the house.

Birth Announcement

Spring Garden

The first snow peas from the spring garden are ready. Planted Saint Patrick's Day, they took three months to grow - through a few snow falls and quite a few freezes. The deer hit them hard in early May, so I put some fence up to keep them out. The lettuce also looks great and has been ready for a few weeks. But the spinach and radishes did really poorly. The radishes put all their energy into shooting out leaves, and produced very little root growth. I'm wondering if my soil is low in phosphorous - so I think I'll give radishes a try again this fall, but fertilize them with 0 - 20 - 0 fertilizer and see what happens.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Honey Bees

Last week while looking out the kitchen window I noticed an unusually large amount of bugs swarming underneath our grove of trees. I went outside to see what they were and couldn't believe how loud the buzzing was - they were honey bees! It was a little intimidating at first, but was able to get close enough to take some pictures (Don't worry, I have a great zoom).

I did a little research online to figure out what this unusual happening was. Honey bee "swarming" happens when a single colony of bees divide in two. The new colony finds a replacement queen bee and sends out a few worker bees to find a new nesting place. This usually happens in the spring, but occasionally happens throughout the summer season. Beekeepers often catch swarms and relocate them. Honey bees are highly valued for their aid in pollination (corn and blueberry farmers, etc). An old poem says,

A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay;
A swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon;
A swarm of bees in July isn't worth a fly.

After swarming, they settled in the branch of our tree and were there a few days and nights, all tightly balled up. Eventually they must have found a new nest, because they left.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Elliot's Cool Sunglasses

We had to make a special trip back to the hospital because Elliot's bilirueben count got pretty high. When Becky went to the doctor his count was at 20.2. So we get to spend the night in the hospital again. As you can see he seemed to enjoy his ride to the hospital and his cool new sunglasses.

While we were at the Hospital we learned that Elliot will have to have some IV's to keep his fluid level up...not cool...but I guess it is needed. We also learned that the helipad for the Aero-Med Helicopter is right above our room, there is only one floor between us and the helipad, check out this cool picture.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Elliot James Ochsner

We are happy to announce the birth of Elliot James Ochsner!
Born June 1, 2009 7:20 p.m.
10.0 pounds
20.5 inces long

Ezra and I the morning I went in to the hospital.

We were so grateful Jen was there again!

Grandma Jan and Big brother Ezra meet Elliot for the first time. A beautiful baby boy. There are some signs of him being a little overdue - suggesting our due date might have been off? Only God knows. We are glad he came just when he did.

The picture below is of Ezra. We think Elliot looks a little more like Brian?